NPR Needs To Hear From Us Regarding E-Verify
December 15, 2008, 06:18 PM
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I listen to radio broadcasts only briefly and sporadically, so I was startled in recent weeks to hear several ads for E-Verify on Sean Hannity's show. Given the odds arising from my sparse sampling, the ads must run pretty frequently.

Sponsored (naturally) by the Department of Homeland Security [DHS], the ads were quite brief—at most 30 seconds long, perhaps just 15—and not heavy on content. But it was, nevertheless, heartening to hear them.

It turns out that DHS is also spending some advertising bucks with National Public Radio [NPR] on what are called "10-second funding credits." NPR's ombudsman Alicia Shepard explains funding credits and the "firewall" between the reporters and the back office here.

Shepard notes that DHS is using NPR because of its "national reach" and adds this jaw-dropper: "E-Verify funding credits also are carried on Latino USA, a show that NPR distributes but does not produce."

Shepard also reports that she's received plenty of negative response to the E-Verify squibs. The listener reactions she quotes are filled with misinformation and invective about E-Verify. Listener Mary Hopkins, for example, claims that E-Verify relies upon a "filthy database," which strikes me as a new coinage  altogether.

Although the E-Verify funding-credits run will apparently continue through February 9, unaffected by such complaints to the ombudsman, it would be good if she also heard from those of us who are enthusiastic about E-Verify, recognizing that it's the basis for the attrition-by-enforcement strategy.

So how about stepping up? To contact the ombudsman, go here and, on that page, choose "Contact an NPR office or service (transcripts, management, etc.)." This yields a drop-down menu from which you can select "NPR Ombudsman (Listeners' Advocate)." The spaces for one's message and contact information are slightly below. Here's what I wrote to Shepard:

I'm a "refugee" from California and, thus, deeply knowledgeable about what the scourge of illegal immigration is doing to our country. The most important step in rescuing the country from this is to prevent illegal aliens from getting jobs (because if they can't get jobs, they'll go back to their own countries). E-Verify lets honest employers make sure they're not hiring illegal aliens. So I'm delighted that those snippets about E-Verify's existence are running on NPR.
By the way, if you have detailed questions about E-Verify, nose around at the website of patriot extraordinaire (and my friend and fellow California refugee) Hal Netkin.