Immigration

Former INS Agent from Valley Pushes Heavy use of E-Verify Program

 The government has a program in place that could freeze illegal workers from the workplace -- E-Verify. But political leaders on both sides of the aisle don't want to use it.

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass makes this point today with quotes from a former immigration agent from Scottsdale, Neville Cramer (pictured). As we mentioned in our 2006 article about the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Cramer has been pushing a computerized employment system for years, and Kass' article notes that Cramer helped develop an early system. (Cramer claims we misunderstood something he said for the ICE article, but we still like him).

Cramer tells us this morning that nothign will ever "end" illegal immigration in this country. However, he believes a strict enforcement of E-Verify would curtail about 90 percent of it.

To make it work, however, the government needs an army of immigration officers "to go into the business community and make sure they are using it, then hammer them with significant fines if they're not," he says.

Problem is, Republicans like the cheap labor, and Democrats believe today's illegal immigrants are tomorrow's Democratic voters.

If you hate change, you have to love the issue of illegal immigration.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.