Obama’s Self-Serving Executive Order Most Hurtful to Unemployed Minorities

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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.

June 28, 2012

Whether the final total number of newly authorized workers that President Obama’s executive order will create is the administration’s projected 800,000, the Pew Hispanic Center’s 1.4 million or the probable 2 million the Migration Policy Institute expects, one fact  the other side can’t argue with: each new work permit issued makes an unemployed American’s job search tougher.

The economic laws of supply and demand are inflexible. The more available workers to fill a single position, the tighter the job market. And in hard times like these when few jobs are created, giving illegal aliens work permits makes the already tough task of finding employment nearly impossible.

The tragic back story for unemployed Americans is that the U.S. economy is in a sustained recession that began in 2007 and shows little sign of abating. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in its May report, released 53 months after the recession started, pegged the total unemployment rate--- counting the unemployed and the involuntarily underemployed—at  nearly 15 percent. The pattern of continuously high U-6 unemployment reflects Great Depression type like conditions.  [U.S. Still Stuck in a Recession, by Peter Ferrara, Washington Times, June 22, 2012]

Nevertheless, President Obama didn’t flinch when he announced that previously unemployable aliens would now be able to enter the job market. As I wrote above, the laws of supply and demand are hard to argue with. But leave it to immigration advocates to insist that adding new workers to a depressed economy will have no impact.

Vanderbilt University Law School professor Carol Swain explained the folly of that theory. During a weekend interview on NPR, Swain said:

“Well, the people that have always had the high unemployment have been African-American men, especially those that have a high school education or less, and also legal Hispanics. And their unemployment rates, they have been high for some time. And if the people are working, they're displacing American workers. They should never have been allowed to work in the labor force. And what the president is doing now will make it more difficult for his most loyal supporters to find employment.”

Swain, an African-American, added:

“In fact, my family is full of people that work those low-wage jobs. They clean homes. They work at McDonald's. They do any kind of work they can find. And so there are many, again, mostly African-Americans that do those jobs when they can find those jobs. And they are placed at a disadvantage, and the president has done them a horrible disservice. And the Congressional Black Caucus and the black leaders are not doing anything to represent blacks in America on some of the most critical and pressing issues, and this is one of them.”

Read the entire interview here.

During his Rose Garden press conference, Obama refused to answer Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro’s question: “Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?” The answer is simple but painful. Obama doesn’t care as much about American workers as he does about saving his own political skin.

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