Deferred deportation plan will increase unemployment

Letter date: 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Letter publisher: 
The Bend Bulletin Opinion
Letter author: 
David Olen Cross
Letter body: 

President Barack Obama’s deferred deportation order on 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, shows a clear view of a president in complete willful disregard for America’s 13.4 million unemployed citizens — 8.3 percent of the civilian labor force.

The consequences of 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.

An evaluation of the seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, news release from Aug. 16, titled “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — July" revealed only 12 states had a higher unemployment rate than Oregon’s 8.7 percent: California, 10.7 percent; Florida, 8.8 percent; Georgia, 9.3 percent; Illinois, 8.9 percent; Michigan, 9 percent; Mississippi, 9.1 percent; Nevada, 12 percent; New Jersey, 9.8 percent; New York, 9.1 percent; North Carolina, 9.6 percent; Rhode Island, 10.8 percent; and South Carolina, 9.6 percent.

In Oregon, there were 177,801 citizens unemployed in July.

Deschutes County’s 8,566 unemployed in July equated to 11.3 percent of the county’s workforce; 4.8 percent of the state’s unemployed.

Including Deschutes, 28 of 36 Oregon counties — 77.8 percent of the state’s counties — in July had a higher unemployment rate than the national average of 8.3 percent: Baker, 10 percent; Columbia, 9.5 percent; Coos, 10.9 percent; Crook, 14.1 percent; Curry, 11.7 percent; Douglas, 12.3 percent; Grant, 13.4 percent; Harney, 13.1 percent; Jackson, 10.7 percent; Jefferson, 12.2 percent; Josephine, 12 percent; Klamath, 11.6 percent; Lake, 13.2 percent; Lane, 8.7 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.

An analysis done by the Employment Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based research organization that focuses on job growth, indicated that Oregon in July ranked third in the nation with teen unemployment for ages 16 to 24 at 30.3 percent.

What 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 workforce during the worst recession since the Great Depression.

According to a Pew Hispanic Center report dated Feb. 1, 2011, titled “Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends, 2010" in Oregon, there were an estimated 110,000 unauthorized workers.

The addition of 16,600 illegal aliens into the state’s civilian labor force could increase unemployment in Oregon by 9.3 percent.

The state’s elected officials like Gov. John Kitzhaber should not cooperate with the Obama administration by allowing thousands of illegal aliens to enter the state’s workforce. 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 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 demographic they represent.

— David Olen Cross lives in Salem.