Dear Editor: We’ve been bombarded with claims that our country is being “infested” with hordes of criminal invaders pouring like vermin over the southern border. The truth is that the number of people apprehended at the border has been steadily declining for years. Last year 300,000 were apprehended, the lowest level since 1971. Trump claims that all border crossings must be stopped because those crossing bring crime and drugs and many are gang members. Studies show that both legal and undocumented migrants commit crimes at a much lower rate than Americans.
We’ve also been told that immigrants are stealing American jobs.
Employers are complaining about a shortage of workers while Trump brags about an economy that has more job openings than people to fill them.
There is a simple solution to illegal immigrants entering the country for employment. Employers must be required under penalty of law to E-verify that immigrants they hire are authorized by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to work in the United States. During the Great Recession (2008-2009), border crossing dropped precipitously as there were no jobs to be had. If e-verify becomes the only condition by which migrants can obtain employment in our country, the flow across the border will drop significantly. To avoid ICE deportations employers must be mandated to register their current undocumented workers, making them legal to remain working in the United States. With jobs going unfilled in the United States there is no way that migrants are stealing jobs that Americans want.
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