An Unspeakable Outrage: Returning Veterans Face Unemployment; Foreign-Born Workers Get Visas and Work Permits

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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.

November 14, 2011

Aloysius Boyle, United States Marine Corps Captain, had a compelling op-ed which appeared in Friday’s Huffington Post. Titled Battlefield to Boardroom---Combating Veteran Unemployment, Captain Boyle made a gut wrenching case for the unemployed vets who have recently returned from the ten-year-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As those conflicts have gradually wound down, thousands of military personnel are coming home and hoping to enter the workforce.

The problem is that no jobs await them. Veteran unemployment is 2 percent higher than the national average, 11 percent. Captain Boyle is urging America to honor the troops by hiring them, a noble if elusive goal in this economy and with a federal immigration policy that issues non-immigrant visas (and their accompanying work permits) to one million foreign-born each year.

Of course, Capitol Hill offers some lofty sounding but doomed proposals. In August, President Obama outlined a strategy to provide tax incentives to organizations that hire veterans.

And two new bills have been introduced to help veterans find jobs. The Hire Heroes Act invests in a study that would effectively translate military skills to civilian equivalents. And the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act intends to catalyze veteran employment, training and job placement.

Sad to say, nothing will come from these ideas. What would open up jobs for struggling veterans a lot faster than bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo would be to stop handing out visas. An even more effective job creation program would be to end the visas and also pass the Legal Workforce Act that would remove thousands of illegal aliens from their payroll positions.

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