How E-Verify and Immigration Enforcement Can Prevent More Murders

Written by Daniel Horowitz

Another American dreamer has lost her life, allegedly killed by an illegal alien who was only in the country because of the open-borders agenda.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera is a 24-year-old Mexican who came here illegally between four and seven years ago and allegedly murdered University of Iowa student Molly Tibbetts. In a twist of tragic irony, he was employed by a business owned by the family of a prominent Republican open-borders activist.

While the investigation is still ongoing and the details are still being learned, Yarrabee Farms, a dairy farm owned by the brother and son of open-borders supporter Craig Lang, put out statement admitting that Rivera had been employed by the farm for a number of years. Lang is a prominent Republican who once headed the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Board of Regents, and he was a candidate for Iowa secretary of agriculture. He was part of one of the most prominent lobbies advocating for open borders, endless magnets, and no interior enforcement against people like Rivera.

E-Verify plus fighting identity theft would end illegal immigration  

Yarrabee Farms initially said in a statement that Rivera passed an E-Verify check when he sought employment with the company. Defenders of open borders immediately used this to discredit E-Verify. Later on Wednesday, the owners said at a press conference that Rivera was really known to them by a fake alias from a stolen out-of-state document he provided, along with a matching Social Security card, and that they did not use E-Verify. They claim to have used the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS), which checks the legitimacy of Social Security numbers without any immigration verification. He worked there for four years.

We can debate the merits of SSNVS vs. E-Verify, but open-borders advocates are missing the forest for the trees. The illegal alien only passed the background check (assuming they are telling the truth) because he had a stolen identity. The open-borders lobby has forever stopped the government from prosecuting identity theft. They view identity theft, along with drunk driving, as a “low-level offenses” and don’t treat the overwhelming majority of illegals who engage in identity theft or fraud as criminal aliens. Every version of amnesty plus the existing illegal DACA program not only forgives identity theft, but shields the aliens from any exposure. And Americans suffer for it.

According to the Washington Times, given that many DACA applicants had committed identity theft, they were required to “include all [Social Security] numbers [they] have ever used” in the application for a work permit. But several months later, “as soon as this potential disincentive to apply for DACA was brought to the administration’s attention, USCIS rushed out a statement that they were ‘not interested’ in identifying individual violations of ‘some federal law in an employment relationship,’ and they amended their DACA website to limit the reporting of SSNs by DACA applicants to those ‘officially issued to you by the Social Security Administration.’”

Identity theft is devastating to the victim, yet it is accommodated by the political system when it’s done by an illegal alien. The Goodlatte version of limited amnesty was the only bill that would have disqualified those who had committed identity theft from applying for amnesty.

So many opponents of E-Verify just focus on the business standpoint, but forget about the severity of identity theft to the American victims and the responsibility of government to protect them. E-Verify is a very simple system, and when implemented properly, it not only deters illegal hires but protects identity theft and informs Americans of any other problems with their data. It’s not a new program or database. It simply takes the name, birthday, and SSN of the prospective employee (which employers collect anyway) and runs it against existing databases from the DHS, the FBI, the State Department, and the Social Security Administration. If it shows a match, you are good to go. If there is no match, then an American can just submit his birth certificate. But this provides the individual with an opportunity to fix a problem with his status that he would otherwise not have known without E-Verify. It’s better to be informed of the problem up front rather than have it hit you later in life when you’re trying to collect Social Security.

As for those illegals who go undetected because they have stolen identities, this is where true verification reform comes into play. Rep. Lamar Smith’s version of E-Verify (H.R. 3711) would direct the USCIS to notify any American when his or her Social Security number is being used. Thus, E-verify would be a catch-22 for illegal aliens. If their names are not verified, they can’t get jobs, but if they steal a legitimate identity, then it will trigger an exposure by the victim.

Rosemary Jenks, director of government affairs for Numbers USA, told me that “this is precisely why DHS allows all Americans to lock their Social Security numbers (and their children’s) so that they cannot be stolen by illegal aliens for employment, and why Rep. Lamar Smith’s Legal Workforce Act would require DHS to notify people whose SSNs are being used by others for employment.” The bill would also have the USCIS flag any number that is used anomalously or multiple times, such as that of a deceased person that the Social Security Administration somehow forgot to cancel.

This process typically takes two minutes and exclusively relies on data already required by law on the I-9 form. It is great for all but illegal aliens.

E-Verify is likely the most commonsense government service available. Of the 17.3 million uses, 98.91 percent have immediately confirmed a match. Of the remaining 1.09 percent, 0.15 percent are confirmed after the initial mismatch (these are the people whose Social Security records are wrong; for example, if a recently married woman hasn’t updated her name with SSA, or aliens with a glitch in their immigration records), and the remaining 0.94 percent are determined to be illegal aliens. Only a sliver of those denials are contested.

There is only upside and no downside for the American people.

Ticking time bomb phenomenon

This criminal alien murder case raises another important point. In light of the fact that he had a fake identity and never had a criminal record, how could this particular illegal alien murder have been avoided? Most illegals who go on to murder someone had previous arrests or even convictions, particularly for drunk driving, drugs, or assault. This problem can be fixed through clamping down on sanctuary cities and mandating ICE detentions. The recent murder in Scott County, Minneapolis, charged to Fraider Diaz Carbajal, a repeat offender who was a re-entrant, is a classic example of this. But what do you do about all those who carry no criminal record, as appears to be the case with Rivera? What do you do about the ticking time bombs?

Obviously, the border wall is important. But the other two legs of the stool – interior enforcement and abolishing all the magnets – are even more important. Imagine if you couldn’t get a job, had no access to welfare, no access to K-12 education, no sanctuary courts or sanctuary cities, and no automatic birthright citizenship. Would people still violate our sovereignty? The problem with illegal immigration is that due to weak laws and horrible court decisions, illegal immigration isn’t so illegal after all. We accommodate it and even mandate benefits. As such, it’s not hard to understand why we have illegal immigration. This is not rocket science.

The bottom line is that we don’t pick our native-born citizens, but we get to pick our immigrants. Thus, almost all murders committed by foreign nationals are avoidable because they should never be admitted, and if we make a mistake and miss an illegal or let in a legal immigrant who is a bad character, there are numerous opportunities to apprehend them and deport them before they commit the most serious crimes.

Immigration enforcement is not optional. It is our right as citizens.

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