Continuing the discussion at Cato Unbound on Mexicans In America, Stephen J. Trejo responded to Victor Davis Hanson article on August 27th. Here is a teaser of what he wrote,
Border enforcement cannot be the primary answer. In recent years, we have dramatically increased expenditures on manpower and technology aimed at stopping illegal border crossing, with minimal results (and, as Massey points out, often counterproductive ones). If we continue trying to control illegal immigration in this fashion, we will spend huge sums of money to little effect.
Given that most illegal immigrants come to the United States to work, why don’t we get serious about workplace enforcement? Retail stores are able to verify in a matter of seconds consumer credit cards used to make purchases. Why couldn’t a similar system be put in place to verify the Social Security numbers of employees before they are hired? Many European countries have systems like this in place. Why don’t we try out something like that? Are Americans really that opposed to national identification cards? I realize that, in many ways, the immigration situation in Europe is different from that in the United States. I also realize that an electronic verification system would miss immigrants employed in the underground economy. But I suspect that we could do much more to control illegal immigration by directing technology and other enforcement resources toward the workplace rather than toward our porous southern border.
The full article can be found here.