* Conservative St. Louis radio talk show this morning…
FREY: “What do you think about this migrant caravan that’s coming to our southern border and how does it affect Illinois? And where’s your position on that?”
RAUNER: “That’s very important, that question, Annie. Illegal immigration is very destructive of America. And we’ve have an illegal immigration problem for decades. Illinois in particular has a massive illegal immigration problem. We have hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants here in the state of Illinois and that lowers wages, it hurts union workers. It takes away union jobs, factory jobs, farm jobs. It keeps wages low and causes higher unemployment for American citizens. It’s wrong. I support comprehensive immigration reform. As part of that what we need to do is get E-Verify. I don’t know if you’ve talked about that with your listeners Annie. I’m pushing E-Verify with Congress right now. The way to end illegal immigration is to mandate that in every state across America, I’m working with President Trump and Congress right now on this issue, we need to mandate E-Verify for all employers. So that digitally everybody who is looking for a job can be checked in the federal database whether they’re citizens, or whether they have the proper visas, and so they can be prevented from taking a job that should go to an American citizen. This is something I’ve recommended for a long time. I’m working to get it done in Congress right now and it’s the single best way to stop illegal immigration, to raise American wages, and to protect American jobs for American workers”
* In Chicago this afternoon when pressed by a Latino reporter…
REPORTER: “Talking about the migrant caravan. A lot of people coming from Guatemala and Honduras and El Salvador. President Trump has said he plans to close the border if this group continues advancing as a solution to not letting them in. Do you share his views on this particular issue?”
RAUNER: “Well I’ll say this. We have a process to help refugees, evaluate refugees, and understand requests for asylum. We have a process. We should respect that process and pursue it. America is a welcoming place for refugees, who are truly refugees, and who truly are seeking asylum for legitimate reasons. And I hope that anyone who’s seeking refuge in America can be properly evaluated and assisted if it makes sense. I personally believe we need comprehensive immigration reform in America. Our immigration system is broken. We make legal immigration far too difficult, far too difficult. We should streamline it, support legal immigration, as we should end illegal immigration. And I don’t believe that the most powerful way to do that is necessarily at the border. I believe the best way to end illegal immigration is by mandating E-Verify. E-Verify, it’s not high cost. It’s already a program that exists with the federal government. Mandate that in states across America so that we can know who’s really a citizen or has the proper visas to be hired. That will do the most that we can to end illegal immigration.”
REPORTER: “Should the border be closed though?”
RAUNER: “Thanks very much, everybody.”
Since he mentioned E-Verify yet again, I used the “participating employer” search function at the E-Verify website and the only state-related participating agencies I could find were the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (not under his control), the Illinois National Guard, the Illinois State Police Forensic Sciences Command, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (not under his direct control), Illinois State University (not under his control), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission (not under his control).
So, maybe he could start here?