Contrary to the narrative advanced by the open borders cartel (the Biden administration, left-wing NGOs, and the open borders immigration lobby), the majority of illegal aliens are not “asylum seekers” or refugees.

They are primarily economic migrants seeking access to the greater prosperity and stability afforded by the United States and our great state of Texas.

The prospects of economic gain and stable employment drive would-be illegal entrants to travel thousands of miles and often enter into human smuggling or forced work agreements with narcoterrorist drug cartels.

These are undoubtedly some of the most violent and despicable organizations on the planet, and they now rake in an estimated $20 billion per year through human smuggling and human trafficking operations. Access to the workforce is a key driver in these arrangements—both voluntary and forced.

In 2015 Greg Abbott signed into law SB 374, which mandated that state agencies and institutions of higher education use E-Verify, a web-based system created by the federal government for businesses to confirm a prospective employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. This requirement also extends to private contractors who do business with the state through an earlier executive order.

These entities, however, are not the primary clients of illegal labor.

Small- and medium-sized businesses throughout the state commonly employ illegal aliens in order to cut their labor costs. Many do so unknowingly or under a patina of plausible deniability while these aliens utilize identity theft as a means to get around legal work requirements.

As the prevalence of illegal labor has increased over the past three decades, many of those who want to hire American feel pressured to do the wrong thing because they fear that increased labor costs would put them at a severe disadvantage compared to their competitors.

At Texans for Strong Borders, we support sweeping legislation similar to Alabama’s HB 56, which mandates E-Verify for all businesses, provides penalties for business owners who harbor illegal aliens, penalizes the use of false identifying documents and identity theft, and prevents illegal aliens from registering to vote.

A law like this in Texas would not only provide additional economic opportunities for Texans who are now priced out of the labor market, but it would also allow business owners who want to do the right thing feel secure in doing so.

On the humanitarian front, it would vastly reduce the demand for illegal labor and cut off a key incentive that keeps would-be illegal entrants coming to the United States and providing a massive cash infusion into cartel coffers in the process.

When illegal aliens already in the United States are unable to obtain and keep employment, many will self-deport as they have during economic downturns. In light of all these benefits, the small administrative burden on businesses is a small price to pay.

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit to

Chris Russo

Chris Russo is the president of Texans for Strong Borders, a non-profit seeking to advance immigration and border security policies that serve the interests of Americans and Texans first. For more information visit .