A case for E-Verify (Columbia County)

The Chronicle

A case for E-Verify

Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 4:24 pm

Columbia County Commissioners Tony Hyde, Earl Fisher and Henry Heimuller should require Columbia County government to use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizen and Immigration Services E-Verify system.

The importance of Columbia County using the E-Verify system really becomes apparent with Oregon’s unemployment rate in November being 9.1 percent, and 167,563 people unemployed.

The county’s November unemployment numbers were at 10.4 percent; 2,311 residents were unemployed.

Unemployed Oregonians who are U.S. citizens or foreign citizens legally present with authorization to work in the country should not have to compete for jobs with a purported 97,000 undocumented foreign national workers illegally in the state, a number that equates to 4.9 percent of the state’s civilian labor force.

If all Oregon government and business entities 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 the state would go to U.S. citizens or those legally present to work in the country.

Currently, 2,227 Oregon employers use the 98.6 percent accurate E-Verify system; 15 of 36 Oregon county governments now use E-Verify (Clatsop, Coos, Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Jefferson, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill counties).

In Columbia County, 14 businesses and government entities (City of Vernonia, Clatskanie School District, Columbia Drainage Vector Control District, Scappoose Bay Watershed Council and the Scappoose School District) presently use the E-Verify system.

Columbia County residents should contact the commissioners ask them to require Columbia County government use the U.S. DHS CIS E-Verify system so if a job opening becomes available to work for the county a qualified U.S. citizen or foreign citizen legally present with authorization to work in the country can be first in line for that job.

David Olen Cross



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