20
Apr

The Reclaim American Jobs Caucus: U.S. Representatives Fight for Unemployed Workers

Published on April 20th, 2011

by Joe Guzzardi
April 13, 2011

Of the approximately 350 Congressional Caucuses, the most important is the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. Co-chaired by House Judiciary Committee head Lamar Smith (R-TX), Sue Myrick (R-NC) and Gary Miller (R-CA), the caucus was recently formed to bring to light the link between the 15 million unemployed Americans and the estimated 8 million illegal immigrants in the workforce.

In his statement, Miller noted that California has 2.2 million unemployed Americans while 1.8 million aliens hold jobs. Drawing parallels to California, Myrick and Smith together told of 500, 000 thousand unemployed in North Carolina with 250,000 working illegal immigrants and in Texas, 1 million jobless but 950,000 employed aliens.

Smith, who pledged to make E-verify mandatory during the 111th Congress, projected that if the United States would just enforce the immigration laws already on the books, the national 8.8 percent unemployment rate could be cut in half. Unfortunately, as Smith continued, the Obama administration refuses to “get serious” about workplace enforcement. As proof, Smith pointed to last year’s deportations, administrative arrests, criminal indictments and criminal convictions which during Obama’s first term have fallen 68, 60, 58 and 63 percent respectively.

Referring to last year’s multiple proposed amnesties on behalf of which the Obama administration lobbied, Miller called the open borders activists who marched on Washington D.C. “an insult” to hard working Americans. To remind his audience of Obama’s most outrageous and flagrant violation of immigration laws, Miller recalled that in early 2010, ICE officials arrested 60 Guatemalan illegal immigrant workers, then released them and drove them back to their jobs. The infamous Foxboro, Massachusetts incident where aliens were hired for below minimum wage to shovel snow at Gillette Stadium before a New England Patriots football game is a shining example of Obama’s devious “catch and release” strategy. Although ICE issued the workers a court order to reappear to determine their immigration status, the Guatemalans vanished.

As alarming as the jobs’ picture that Smith, Miller and Myrick outlined, they’ve understated how grim it is. According to last month’s Investor’s Business Daily story titled “IBD Poll Suggests 30 Million Americans Seeking Job,” the real jobless rate is “much higher” than the official 8.8 percent.

According to Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence and IBD’s polling partner: "Though the official unemployment rate is improving, according to our poll, we still have at least 20 percent of able Americans looking for full-time employment." As evidence, the labor-force participation rate now stands at 62.2 percent, a 27-year low. A broader unemployment measure that combines the unemployed with part-time workers seeking full-time work rose to a disturbing 19.9 percent in March, up from 17.2 percent in December.

The outlook is even worse. The latest findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that job openings have declined by 37 percent from December 2007 when the recession began. During the same period, the gross number of new private hires, before layoffs and firings, is down by 1.15 million. In summary, the BLS predicted that jobs won’t hit their former pre-recession peak until December 2016.

In this horrible jobs environment, it’s unforgivable that President Obama isn’t rushing to American workers’ aide through more vigorous immigration enforcement. Instead, Washington works against citizens’ most vital interests while hoping to score political points with what it perceives as the growing, crucial Hispanic voting bloc.

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Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. He can be reached at [email protected]

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