Oregon employers should use E-Verify
9:00 PM, Aug. 31, 2011|
David Olen Cross
Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, in a recent Eugene Register-Guard editorial republished in part on StatesmanJournal.com under the title, “Reject efforts to mandate a faulty E-Verify system” 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 (DHS) system.
Unapologetically in various media outlets across the state, Jeff Stone has stated that 70 percent of OAN membership’s employees are undocumented workers.
A group of business organizations called the Coalition for a Working Oregon (CWO), OAN being a member organization, commissioned a study in 2008 that purported CWO membership employs 97,000 undocumented workers in the state.
Stone, a spokesperson for both OAN and CWO, needs a U.S. federal employment law reality check; U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States — U.S. citizens or foreign citizens legally present with authorization to work in the country.
The importance of Oregon employers mandatorily using U.S. DHS- E-Verify system really becomes apparent when looking at Oregon’s unemployment rate in July 2011 being at 9.5 percent, 189,501 Oregonians were unemployed. July unemployment numbers for Marion County were higher at 10.3 percent; 16,128 of the county’s residents were unemployed.
According to Oregon Employment Department the July 2011 civilian labor force was 2,014,343. Using the 2008 CWO study’s purported employment number of 97,000 undocumented workers, CWO membership business organizations’ undocumented workers would makeup approximately 4.8 percent of the Oregon July 2011 civilian labor force.
Removing 97,000 undocumented workers from Oregon’s civilian labor force (subtract the 97,000 undocumented workers from the 189,501 Oregonians who were unemployed) could theoretically lower the number those unemployed Oregonians legally able to work in the state to 92,501, an unemployment rate of just over 4.6 percent.
Unemployed Oregonians who are U.S. citizens or foreign citizens legally present with authorization to work in country should not have to compete for jobs with undocumented foreign national workers illegally in the state.
If all Oregon businesses not currently using U.S. DHS- E-Verify system were required to use it, Oregon’s unemployment rate would drop dramatically because all new jobs created in state would go to U.S. citizens or those legally present to work in the country.
Currently more than 2,000 Oregon businesses and government entities are successfully using U.S. DHS- E-Verify system. At least 163 Marion County businesses are using the U.S. DHS-E-Verify system (www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm).
Oregonians should contact their United States congressional representatives Sen. Jeff Merkley, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Kurt Schrader and ask them to support the passage into law of HR 2164 that would mandatorily require all U.S. businesses and government entities to use U.S. DHS- E-Verify system so all 189,501 unemployed Oregonians who are U.S. citizens or foreign citizens legally present with authorization to work in the country can go back to work.
David Olen Cross of Salem writes on issues related to foreign national crime and immigration. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.