JNL: How big a role do American employers play in the problems we’re seeing with immigration? It seems like we put more of the burden on the immigrants than on the people who hire them.
HA: We’ve gone from maybe 3 million illegal aliens in the United States a couple of decades ago to anywhere from 10 to 13 million now. The reality is they wouldn’t be here if they couldn’t work. And it’s no different under this administration, despite the rhetoric. The administration talks about making it harder for refugees to come into the country. They talk about increasing the number of Border Patrol agents. But they don’t say much about what they’re doing with employers. I think it’s obvious why—we have a president who’s a businessman. If any agent had the guts to do an I-9 audit on Trump’s businesses—of course, nobody has the guts, but if I was an agent, I would do it—they would be surprised by what they would find.
Let me backtrack and say that agents tend to like what the president’s doing. The increased border security is great. The catch-and-release policies are great; the detention is great. But if we don’t start holding employers accountable, the problems will continue. When I was an agent, I walked the mountains of New Mexico for eight hours with a lady who was pregnant. And all she knew was that once she got away from the border and made it into Chicago, she would be home free.