J.D. Vance is Right about E-Verify


Vance will have an advantage in the Ohio Senate race because he supports E-Verify.


J.D. Vance won Ohio’s Republican Senate Primary in large part by taking populist positions that were opposed to his corporate-friendly competitors. Vance’s plan to make every employer use E-Verify for illegal immigrant screening is a great example of a policy that works well among working Americans but has been rejected by Big Business.

Vance won over Josh Mandel and Mike Gibbons. Jane Timken was also a winner with the E-Verify mandate. This will allow him to expose Congressman Tim Ryan as a paper Tiger when it comes down to protecting workers.

E Verify allows employers to verify the immigration status for every employee they employ. The system is easy-to-use and reliable. It can deliver results within three seconds.

But only a few companies in the country use E-Verify. This is no surprise. It’s not difficult to see why illegal workers can be more expensive than American citizens. Illegal immigrants aren’t eligible for basic legal protections. Companies can force illegal workers to work long hours and subject them to terrible working conditions.

This situation is not only unfair for illegal immigrants, but it also has serious consequences for American workers. There are nearly 90,000 illegal immigrants living in Ohio alone. This abundance of low-cost labor is a depressing factor for both wages and employment prospects of Ohio’s native-born workforce.

According to an analysis by Harvard economist George Borjas, illegal immigrants reduce the wages of native-born Americans by as much as $118 billion a year.

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Making E Verify obligatory for employers is one way to tackle this problem, Vance correctly points out. Employers will be unable to hire or exploit illegal immigrants without fear if they are able to do so. This will reduce the incentives for illegal immigrants to come into the country. It also creates more opportunities for legal and native-born immigrants.

This is exactly what happened in states that E-Verify has become mandatory. Just a year after Arizona implemented E-Verify requirements in 2007, the state’s population of illegal immigrants had fallen by 17 percent. E-Verify state requirements also have been proven to lower native-born unemployment rates.

Not forgetting the fact that E-Verify mandatory is as minimally intrusive as you could think. It only requires that businesses spend a couple of seconds before hiring new employees to ensure they don’t break the law.

These simple, low-cost solutions are rare in American politics. This is especially true when the issue at hand, the illegal-immigration problem, is so large. Anyone who is serious about stopping illegal immigration to the United States should strongly support mandatory E-Verify.

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The fact that Mandel, Dolan, Gibbons, and Timken never endorsed the policy–despite its commanding the support of a staggering 82 percent of Republicans–revealed something troubling about their commitment to defending workers. And voters noticed.

Vance is likely to use his E-Verify plan as a weapon against Tim Ryan. Youngstown’s Democrat presents himself as an advocate of ordinary workers who have been affected by corporate greed and outsourcing. Yet Ryan refuses to endorse mandatory E-Verify, even though 60 percent of registered Democrats, and 61 percent of independents, favor it.

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Ohioans struggle with inflation and low real-wage growth. Vance may be Ohio’s next senator because he promoted mandatory E-Verify, which is arguably the most pro-worker and pro-wage-growth Washington policy in decades.

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