Immigration, American Unemployment, Obama and His Ticking Clock

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

July 12, 2012

The June jobs report, only 80,000 created, is so grim that not even lifelong Democrat and former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich can find a silver lining.

Reich, now a University of California Berkeley Chancellor’s Public Policy professor, said in his blog that: “We're in the jobs doldrums.” Added Reich:

“Remember, 125,000 new jobs are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of   Americans who need jobs. That means the jobs situation continues to worsen.”

Worsen! How scary is that? But that, according to Reich, is exactly what will happen unless President Obama shows that:

“…he understands the depth and breadth of this crisis, and is prepared to do large and bold things to turn the economy around in his second term if and when he does have the votes in Congress. So far, his proposals are policy miniatures relative to the size of the problem.” (Emphasis mine.)

An immigration moratorium would certainly qualify as a “large and bold” measure. But Obama is a million miles away from curtailing immigration. Instead as we are too painfully aware, in June Obama issued an executive order that will grant amnesty and work authorization to as many as 1.2 million aliens.

Obviously, 80,000 new jobs don’t amount to a drop in the bucket in terms of reducing the total 13 million unemployed. In fact, the U-6 unemployment rate which includes people who have given up  looking for work and those who are have part-time jobs but would prefer full time, edged up last month to 14.9 percent.

Reich correctly observes that Americans have grown tired of Obama’s excuses for non-existent job growth---George W. Bush, the European debt crisis and China’s slowdown. But Americans are also fed up and disgusted with Obama’s refusal not only to acknowledge over-immigration as a variable in American unemployment but also by his indefensible amnesty that will allow 1.4 million previously unemployable working age illegal immigrants to compete for scarce jobs.

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