Letters to the Editor – August 13, 2011
Letter from David Olen Cross
Reader supports E-Verify
Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, in a recent Register-Guard editorial republished in the News-Register, “Reject mandated electronic verification” says he doesn’t like legislation (HR 2164) now before the U.S. Congress that would require all employers in the country to use U.S. Department of Homeland Security E-Verify.
In media across the state, Stone stated that 70 percent of OAN membership’s employees are undocumented workers.
A group of business organizations called the Coalition for a Working Oregon, OAN being a member organization, commissioned a study in 2008 that purported CWO membership employs 97,000 undocumented workers.
Stone, a spokesperson for OAN and CWO, needs a federal employment law reality check. Federal law requires companies to 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.
The importance of Oregon employers using DHS- E-Verify becomes apparent when looking at Oregon’s unemployment rate in June 2011 — 9.4 percent. A total of 195,422 Oregonians were unemployed. June unemployment numbers for Yamhill County were 9.3 percent, which translates into 4,726 of the county’s residents.
Unemployed Oregonians who are U.S. citizens or foreign nationals legally present with authorization to work in the country should not have to compete for jobs with 97,000 undocumented foreign national workers illegally in the state.
Currently, more than 2,000 Oregon businesses and government entities are successfully using DHS- E-Verify. At least 45 Yamhill County businesses currently use E-Verify.
Oregonians should contact their congressional representatives and ask them to support the passage of HR 2164, which would require all U.S. businesses and government entities to use E-Verify.
David Olen Cross