Allan Mansoor’s other shoe drops: Imposing E-Verify on all Costa Mesa Businesses?

Thus far there have been two basic components to Allan Mansoor’s campaign for the 68th Assembly District:

But now we’ll have to modify that last plank.  As pointless as his May “Rule of Law City” declaration was, as much as we opponents ridiculed that measure as accomplishing nothing good or bad in the way of ridding Costa Mesa of the supposed plague of undocumented immigrants (i.e., as much as we tried to convince his nativist followers that they were having their chains cynically yanked) the Minuteman Mayor has now actually proposed a measure with real-life policy implications – bringing E-Verify to Costa Mesa.

But hold the phones for a moment before you get all “Sounds reasonable enough.”  Allan is not just proposing that the city itself only hire and contract out with employees certified legal through E-Verify, as many other cities do. (Here in Orange County alone, as this nicely comprehensive Register article details, Mission Viejo, Buena Park, and Yorba Linda have that policy, which admittedly seems reasonable enough – why not have good-paying city jobs go first to US Citizens?)

But that’s not enough for the Minuteman Mayor.  Just like Tugg Speedman blew his Oscar chances by “going Full Retard,”  Allan is proposing that Costa Mesa goes “Full E-Verify.”  That is, Allan would like to force ALL businesses in the city to check all their employees’ papers with this electronic service, under pain of fines, audits, and loss of license.  The only places that have gone “Full E-Verify” thus far, as Allan wants to do, are Beaufort County in South Carolina; the godforsaken sweltering desert/prison town Lancaster, and a handful of backward economically-depressed states like Mississippi and Arizona.  These are Mayor Mansoor’s role models?

Okay, let’s be clear.  First off, in his usual milksop manner, Allan is only simply “proposing” that we “look at this,” that we have a “full and open discussion,” that we “not be afraid” to talk about all the things we can do to scare off this huge “illegal alien invasion” that he and his base perceive all over their town.  So what is it – is he still just jerking his base’s chain, or is he really going to try to make this happen before he’s either Assemblyman or unemployed?

He has directed, with the consent of his brainless Council majority, city legal staff to do exhaustive research on the issue and create the appropriate legal documents to implement the plan  – as the Pot Stirrer writes, surely “an unnecessary, costly [given CM’s $16 million defiicit] and intrusive measure – one that will certainly not endear Mansoor to the business community.”  Nice-guy City Manager Roeder is already tripping that “Irrespective of what Lancaster and others do, business licensing has never been regulatory in nature… This changes the very foundation of the business license program.”

“Screw Business!”  (Really?  um…)

Something I often hear from liberal friends once they feel pressed to come up with a “solution” for the immigration “problem” – go after the employers!  The businesses who hire illegals!  Fine the hell out of them!  Throw them in jail!  Really, it’s just a knee-jerk anti-business reaction that I don’t share.  Walk into any fast food restaurant, any car wash – the folks working there ARE generally being paid minimum wage, sometimes a little better;  the manager gives their “papers” the most cursory glance and proceeds to take payroll and social security taxes out of their checks which they’ll never see again.  These are NOT jobs that American citizens want to do, as has been proven time and again; and everybody is happy with the status quo, until such day as there’s reform and these folks CAN get legal.

Have any of you folks really thought through what the impact would be on the prices you pay to get through life – from that fast-food place and car wash to what you pay for your fruit and vegetables, to your parents’ gardeners and house-cleaners?  The following clip is satirical but based on fact – life in the USA without Mexicans HAS been tried here and there, and has been found wanting.

I’ve spent the last few days (since Allan’s proposal last week) talking to the owners of various small Costa Mesa businesses whom this would impact.  Understandably many of them don’t want to go on the record objecting to a proposal like this, but the sentiment is unanimous that this would be a huge unwelcome burden on them, and they’re very clear on the petty motives behind it.  One Costa Mesa business owner unafraid to go on the record is Red-E Rental’s outspoken Tim Lewis, who told me

“I just resent this Mayor forcing us employers to jump through hoops on immigration, for his own political reasons, when it’s not the City of Costa Mesa’s business to enforce Federal immigration law.  If the Feds tell me to go through E-Verify, I’ll do it.  But until then I’d like Allan Mansoor to keep his hands out of my dealings between me and my Mexican employees who’ve stuck with me and done a great job for twenty, thirty years…”

[UPDATE:  Wing Lam, CEO of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, in response to my queries:  “We don’t need to be doing what AZ is doing : Racial Profiling  or anything like it!”]

Yes, Full E-Verify is part of the proposed “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” … BUT…

It is INTENDED to go hand-in-hand with providing a pathway to legalization of existing workers – without that it would be economically devastating, as is made abundantly clear in this report from the National Immigration Law Center.  A few nuggets from that report:

  • According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), implementation of a mandatory program (without legalizing the current undocumented population) would increase the number of employers and workers who resort to the black market, outside of the tax system. This would decrease federal revenue by more than $17.3 billion over ten years.
  • The Arizona Republic reported that a 2008 state law requiring businesses to use E-Verify has resulted in workers and businesses moving off the books into the cash economy. This shift is depriving the state of income-tax revenue at the same time the state is facing a $1.6 billion budget gap.
  • Apart from lost tax revenues, the CBO estimates that implementation of a mandatory E-Verify program would cost $3 billion over 5 years and $6.1 billion over 10 years.
  • According to the author of a Cato Institute report, tighter interior immigration enforcement — including policies such as making E-Verify mandatory — would reduce U.S. “household welfare” by $65 billion a year.
  • Imposing these costs on our federal government and U.S. households would be particularly unwise now as our economy struggles with a $1.58 trillion deficit.8 In 2009, the Treasury Dept.’s revenue was down $138 billion from the previous year, the largest April-to-April decrease since at least 1981.
  • Really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  If you want more, I’ve uploaded the PDF for y’all.

So, long story short, what we see is ONCE AGAIN Allan Mansoor putting his political ambitions and his anti-immigrant sentiments ahead of the interests of the people of Costa Mesa.  Chalk this up, voters!  And let’s try, for the good of Costa Mesa, to stop this “full E-Verify” until we have real immigration reform.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.