July 25, 2013, - 3:02 pm
Today’s Wall Street Journal features a half-page article chock full of whining by employers that using the E-Verify system weeds out illegal aliens from their pool of potential employees. Um, isn’t that kinda the point of E-Verify? One of the employers even flat-out says that he doesn’t care if he’s hiring illegal aliens. Hey, at least he’s “honest.” You’ll hear a lot of this, whether or not amnesty becomes law. But it’s an attempt to stop the E-Verify component from going through with amnesty.
The government is stopping us from hiring cheap, illegal alien labor. Boo-hoo. That’s the “substance” of the whining by such companies as Rocket Farm Restaurants, which would apparently rather sell America, Americans, and American jobs down the river than hire Americans and pay decent wages. Rocket Farm, by the way, is based in Atlanta and includes fancy, upscale JCT Kitch & Bar, No. 246, and The Optimist & Oyster Bar. Check out the sob fest of part owner and CFO Daniel VanLoh, who would rather hire Mohammed Atta as a dishwasher than do the right thing:
Since January, Daniel VanLoh has turned away nine new dishwashers and one line cook from his four Atlanta, Ga., restaurants within days of hiring them. The reason: Not one was authorized to work in the U.S., according to background checks he ran on the job applicants using a federal verification system, known as E-Verify. He says he’s now struggling to fill six openings, with some job seekers simply walking away after hearing that the company uses the free, Internet-based system to check their immigration status.
To date, Mr. Van Loh’s firm, Rocket Farm Restaurants LLC, has used the system to check 180 recruits. “It has significantly increased our recruiting costs,” he says. “We spend time and money recruiting and doing background checks on good candidates, and if the E-Verify comes back with a rejection, we have to start the process all over again.” Recruiting dishwashers is the most difficult. The jobs pay only $8 an hour, or 75 cents more than the federal minimum wage, and they involve a great deal of heavy lifting.
Translation: I can’t hire illegal aliens, and Americans won’t work for my substandard wages! Quick, somebody call the waaaahmbulance.
A close look at early E-Verify system users illustrates some of the challenges facing business owners who liked the old way—generally, simply asking job seekers to fill out federal paperwork, known as I-9 forms, and trusting that any proof of identity they provide is legitimate.
Specifically, since using the E-Verify system, many owners of small firms say it has become far more difficult to fill open positions. Others point out that using the system requires some employers to hire extra staff or upgrade computer equipment to manage the online process.
Um, yeah, because before E-Verify, employers who wanted to hire illegal aliens accepted any false ID, no matter how fake looking, and said, “You’re hired!” Now, they can no longer fall back on that fraud and must actually punch a name and social security number into a computer.
So sad, too bad.
This month, Georgia required small employers to screen applicants with the system, a move that extended existing requirements for larger firms. At least 15 other states, including Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina, have enacted laws in recent years requiring at least some, if not all, employers to run E-Verify checks on job applicants before hiring them. The laws don’t require employers to check existing employees.
Scott Whitehead, who operates an Atlanta landscaping service, began using E-Verify July 1. Over the past three weeks, he says he hasn’t found a single authorized worker among more than 50 applicants at his metro area firm, Unlimited Landscaping & Turf Management Inc. “Every immigrant who walks through this door is illegal” according to the online check, says Mr. Whitehead, whose firm has more than 100 employees.
He says the checks are shrinking the pool of applicants he’s able to hire. As he struggles to fill openings, existing maintenance workers, most of whom he pays about $14 an hour, are demanding higher wages.
Here’s a tip: charge more for landscaping and pay Americans decent wages.
The system is also bringing anxieties about productivity, he says. To avoid running afoul of the new Georgia law, Mr. Whitehead plans to hire only U.S. citizens who clear the system, even though, in landscaping, he has found that immigrant workers are generally more productive.
Yup, that’s the ticket–Americans suck. Memo to self: don’t hire Scott Whitehead to fix my front lawn (if I had one).
Golden Corral franchisee Billy Sewell says he used to get an average of 25 to 50 job applications a week for positions at each of his 13 restaurants in North Carolina. Since October 2012, when he began using the system as now required by state law, he has received only about 10 applications a week per location. So far, Mr. Sewell has turned away roughly 300 applicants.
“There needs to be better immigration reform because we’re not allowed to hire good, valuable people who want to work,” says Mr. Sewell, who altogether owns 28 Golden Corral restaurants in six states.
Translation: I gotta hire those damn ‘mericans.
Mr. Sewell realizes that under the paper system, he might be hiring some undocumented immigrants, but he doesn’t care as long as he’s doing what he’s required to do under the law.
Yup, who cares about America’s borders or national security, right? Whatta schmuck.
According to immigration agency guidelines, employers are responsible for ensuring that documents “reasonably appear to be genuine.” Mr. Sewell, for one, admits that it can be difficult to tell whether documents are legitimate, though he adds that it’s just as hard to ensure that customers are providing real proof that they’re old enough to order alcohol.
Yup, let’s compare securing the borders to an underaged kid trying to buy beer. ‘Cuz it’s exactly the same thing, right?
Well, at least there’s one decent small business owner in this lousy bunch:
Florida builder Greg DeJohn says he uses the system voluntarily because he needs to show Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big clients that he takes extra steps to ensure they aren’t indirectly supporting illegal labor. “It’s a way of showing corporate clients that we’re using best practices,” he says. “It’s a matter of conducting good business.”
Even if he’s only doing it for his bottom line, at least he’s doing the right thing.
As for the rest, they couldn’t care less about you or your security and safety from illegal aliens, so long as cheap dishwashers and gardeners help their bottom lines.
Lenin was right when he said capitalists would “sell us the rope” on which they would be hanged.