Merkley can't see link between joblessness and immigration

Letter date: 
Monday, April 21, 2014
Letter publisher:
Letter author: 
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Letter body: 

In Sen. Jeff Merkley’s April 14 guest opinion, he commiserates with poorly paid workers and those unemployed, and advocates raising the federal minimum wage to help them.

He misreads the causes of falling wages and shrinking job opportunities for citizens and appears blind to his own complicity.

When the labor market is overcrowded with workers, their job opportunities diminish and wages decline.

In Congress, Sen. Merkley has voted repeatedly for measures that increase immigration and foreign worker employment by businesses in the U.S. Even more hurtful, he has opposed measures to control illegal immigration.

Such actions have caused large increases in numbers of available low-wage workers. Through employer fraud and abuse of visa programs, professional workers are also affected.

U.S. employers have had virtually unlimited access to illegal labor for many years. This began with farmers; then other industries, seeing that immigration laws are minimally enforced, realized they too could profit by using illegal labor.

Illegal aliens’ status makes them fear to complain about working conditions. Sometimes employers fail to pay the illegal aliens anything at all for work performed.

See Sen. Merkley’s immigration voting record on NumbersUSA’s website, where it’s graded “F.”