GUEST VIEWPOINT: Obama’s deferral order will raise unemployment
BY DAVID OLEN CROSS
Published: September 22, 2012 12:00AM, Today
President Obama’s deferred deportation order affecting some 1.7 million undocumented foreign nationals (illegal aliens) between the ages of 16 and 30, in conjunction with issuing them Social Security numbers and work permits, clearly shows that the president holds complete willful disregard for America’s 13.4 million unemployed citizens — 8.3 percent of the civilian labor force.
One consequence of President Obama’s actions — the addition of 1.7 million illegal aliens into the nation’s civilian labor force — could push unemployment up in the country by 12.7 percent.
Yet The Register-Guard’s June 6 editorial supporting the deferral made no mention of this consequence.
In July, 177,801 Oregonians were officially unemployed, for a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.7 percent. Lane County’s 16,010 unemployed in July equated to 8.7 percent of the county’s work force.
Including Lane, 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties had higher unemployment rates in July than the national average of 8.3 percent: Baker, 10.0 percent; Columbia, 9.5 percent; Coos, 10.9 percent; Crook, 14.1 percent; Curry, 11.7 percent; Deschutes, 11.3 percent; Douglas, 12.3 percent; Grant, 13.4 percent; Harney, 13.1 percent; Jackson, 10.7 percent; Jefferson, 12.2 percent; Josephine, 12.0 percent; Klamath, 11.6 percent; Lake, 13.2 percent; Lincoln, 9.4 percent; Linn, 11.1 percent; Malheur, 10.1 percent; Marion, 9.4 percent; Morrow, 8.4 percent; Polk, 8.6 percent; Sherman, 8.5 percent; Tillamook, 8.7 percent; Umatilla, 8.7 percent; Union 9.3, percent; Wallowa, 10.6 percent; Wasco, 8.6 percent, and Yamhill, 8.4 percent.
Note that in 16 of these counties, the July unemployment rate was in double digits. Adding foreign nationals to the labor pool will make the problem worse.
An analysis done by the Employment Policy Institute indicated that Oregon ranked third in the nation in unemployment among teenagers and young people, with a 30 percent jobless rate for people aged 16 to 24.
The reality of what President Obama’s deferred deportation order means to Oregon’s unemployed is that up to 16,600 illegal aliens will be permitted to enter the state’s work force during the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Adding 16,600 illegal aliens to the civilian labor force could amount to a 9.3 percent increase in the number of unemployed people.
The state’s elected officials, such as Gov. John Kitzhaber, should not cooperate with the Obama administration by allowing thousands of illegal aliens to enter the state’s work force. Kitzhaber can put a stop to many of these illegal aliens working in the state by not changing state law that currently requires legal presence in the country to obtain an Oregon driver’s license. Kitzhaber should know that Obama’s deferred deportation order doesn’t constitute legal presence for those persons illegally in the country.
Oregon’s 177,801 unemployed legal U.S. citizens should contact President Obama in the White House and communicate to the president that unemployed Americans should never have to compete for scarce jobs with illegal aliens — no matter what age they are or what demographic group they represent.
David Olen Cross of Salem (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a writer and activist on immigration issues.