Voz money should put others to work (E-Verify)

Letter date: 
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Letter publisher: 
Beaverton Valley Times
Letter author: 
Richard F. LaMountain, Northwest Portland
Letter body: 

The front-page story "Laborers hold out hope" (Sept. 1), which profiled the Voz Workers' day-labor hiring facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, omitted a couple of significant facts.

First, as noted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, some 84 percent of day laborers are illegal immigrants. Second, the Voz facility does not require its users to provide proof of legal U.S. residence.

Today, 380,000 Oregonians either are unemployed or working only part-time. And yet, during the past several years the city of Portland has committed hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars to help illegal immigrants find work through Voz's facility.

It is immoral for Portland to undermine the job prospects of unemployed Oregonians. Here's a better idea: Rather than undermine U.S. law by subsidizing illegal immigration, Portland should require all businesses within its jurisdiction to register as users of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's automated "E-Verify" program, which helps employers assure their new hires are U.S. citizens or legal residents.