Tanton Network Uses E-verify to Terrorize Immigrant Communities

Jill Garvey • Mar 05, 2010

The John Tanton Network is more interested in terrorizing immigrant communities than helping employers.

Nothing else can explain its recent response to a comprehensive report on the failure of E-verify. Rather than accept the program’s failures and promote more effective ways to fix the immigration system, the network of anti-immigrant groups led by John Tanton is attacking the report and trying to discredit hard facts. The anti-immigrant trifecta of the Tanton Network - FAIR, Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA - came out swinging against the report which effectively debunks their data on E-verify.

Mark Krikorian of Center for Immigration Studies said, “Nevertheless, it’s certainly true that E-Verify isn’t tight enough yet, but in a glass-half-full sense, this isn’t really bad news,” and “…we know perfectly well what the problems are, and they don’t have much to with with the E-Verify system itself.”

We do indeed know perfectly well what the problems are. The problems are anti-immigrant groups with ties to racist organizations injecting themselves into a mainstream debate and distorting data.

Here is the truth: E-verify encourages discrimination in hiring. The harder it is for employers to properly utilize the system (and it sounds nearly impossible), the more potential employees they will pass over. Don’t be surprised to one day hear reports of employers who admit to resorting to racial profiling because it was easier than E-verify. Anti-immigrant leaders like Krikorian know this. They know that applying for a job while brown is hell and E-verify just makes it worse.

Putting aside undocumented immigrants for a moment, this has serious implications for all workers of color. Think unemployment among communities of color is bad now? Just wait.

Just as the anti-immigrant movement has tried to turn landlords, local law enforcement, and ordinary citizens into the federal immigration police, so too would it like to turn employers into immigration snitches.

We can’t afford it. America is in economic trouble, and lawmakers and employers can’t afford to spend their time tracking down and reporting every single potentially undocumented immigrant. It’s a waste of precious resources and will hurt American businesses.

When anti-immigrant groups make their motives clear, when they renounce all associations with white nationalist organizations, then we can talk about E-verify. Until then, their opinions on the matter simply aren’t valid.

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