Better use E-Verify
Mailbag: Better use E-Verify

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2011 8:45 am |

Bill Case, in his Aug. 10 letter titled “They won’t do this work,” by omission reveals he is choosing to ignore that U.S. federal employment law requires companies employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States — U.S. citizens or foreign nationals legally present with authorization to work in the country.

To enlighten Mr. Case, the Oregon Association of Nurseries is a member of the Coalition for a Working Oregon (CWO), a group of business organizations representing at least five specific industries in the state. A CWO membership commissioned study in 2008 purported CWO membership collectively employs 97,000 undocumented workers in Oregon.

Case’s statement that “currently unemployed workers will not do any of the agriculture-related jobs” parrots the CWO membership mantra: Oregonians’ won’t work in any type of employment that demands difficult manual labor. The inference is that only undocumented workers need apply.

In far less difficult economic times, Oregonians have been more than willing to be employed by the individual businesses that make up CWO member organizations, in the construction, logging, lodging, food processing, restaurant and agricultural industries.

Addressing Mr. Case’s belief that the undocumented foreign nationals illegally present in the state contribute anything significant in the form of taxes, he is simply wrong. Oregon’s low-wage hourly undocumented workers will unfortunately use far more federal and state government services than they will ever pay into the tax system.

According to the Oregon Department of Employment, June 2011 unemployment numbers for Linn County were 11.4 percent; 6,605 of the county’s residents were unemployed.

Currently, at least 54 Linn County businesses are using the U.S. DHS E-Verify system.

A prudent suggestion for Bill Case, to avoid a U.S. DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid or employment audit at his place of employment, he or his employer should immediately sign up to use the U.S. DHS E-Verify system.

David Olen Cross, Salem (Aug. 11)


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