Donald Trump Yanking Chains
Last night, I watched Trump’s speech on immigration. When I heard him say “undocumented workers” I took a long sigh. This is why. There is something that employers in the United States refer to as the I-9 law, or I-9 form. It became effective on Nov. 6, 1986. That law prohibits employers from knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens and hiring individuals without completing the employment eligibility verification process. All employers must use Form I-9 for all employees hired on or after Nov. 6, 1986, who are working in the United States.
The form requires that job applicants produce forms that establish their identity and employment authorization, such as a passport or permanent resident or alien registrant receipt card. If job applicants produce the required document for “List A,” no other documents are required.
There is also a “List B” that includes state issued identification cards, and other government issued identification. There is also a “List C” that includes a social security card and birth certificate.
But here’s the point. Employers are responsible for verifying that the people they hire are qualified to work in the United States. Okay — documents can be faked, but there is also something called “E-verify” that employers can use to verify documents through an online data base. E-verify is voluntary for employers. The Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should make it mandatory.
There’s a common sense approach to determining the authenticity of documents provided to comply with I-9. If an applicant has a state issued ID and social security card, but does not speak English, that should give employers a clue that they are not U.S. born citizens and should have additional documents to verify their right to work in the United States. But, in order to make sure and avoid lawsuits for discriminating against job applicants who do not speak English, they need to use E-verify.
And, this now brings us to reporting employers who hire illegal aliens. Back in the late 1980’s after the law was passed, the Department of Immigration and Naturalization investigated complaints of companies hiring illegal immigrants. Day labor firms, which had the reputation of hiring anyone, were raided. Since then, if it’s not 100 or more such employees at one location, anyone making that call to the Dept. of Immigration and Naturalization might be wasting their time. The penalty against employers for hiring illegal aliens is a monetary fine, and the government doesn’t want to put employers out of business by monetarily sanctioning them for hiring one or two undocumented workers.
Trump and his supporters want to hold illegal immigrants responsible for working in the U.S., when it is actually employers who are at fault for hiring them.
And, now we come to what Trump said about deporting convicted, illegal aliens. If he’s elected, he might start a serious fight with the states if he wants to do that. Those illegal aliens who have been found guilty of crime(s) and are serving sentence in state prisons, are under the jurisdiction of the state. The states have rights to have prisoners complete their sentences. Victims of families might want perpetrators to serve out sentences. What Trump wants to do as President by pulling them out of prison and deporting them is beyond federal jurisdiction and might cause many states to have to amend their laws on sentencing, parole, and probation.
If he’s elected, Trump will need to go before Congress to amend many laws, including crimes of “moral turpitude” and exemption laws under the Immigration and Nationality Act that pertain to illegal aliens. Among those laws are some that pertain to terrorist. Based on Trump’s speech, he will simply deport terrorist who are illegal aliens rather than having them serve sentences in the United States.
Essentially, what Trump has done is introduced a straw-man argument — one that he can criticize Hillary Clinton for not agreeing with or speaking on. Hillary is a lawyer. She has served in the U.S. Congress and no doubt knows that she cannot educate Trump on what he ignores, such as jurisdiction and laws already on the books. Some of those laws might now be as good as a blank piece of paper, but the government must work to make sure they are enforced rather than appearing as a dictator on the issue of immigration.