The effective date for the mandatory use of E-Verify by federal
contractors and subcontractors has been delayed again.
and Customs Enforcement, who administers the system with Homeland
Security, announced that the date has been pushed back to June 30, 2009.
Former President Bush first signed an executive order in November
2008, requiring companies that have contracts with the federal
government to run new employees through E-Verify. It was originally set
to go into effect on Jan. 19, but he agreed to delay the effective date
to Feb. 20, pending the outcome of a lawsuit.
The Obama Administration delayed the effective date for a second
time at the end of January, moving the date to May 21. Today's order
extends that delay for another six weeks to June 30.
NumbersUSA received a number of "outside" comments from people who disagreed with Roy Beck's quote
in a front-page New York Times article on April 9. The following was
particularly interesting. I verified that the writer owns a small
insurance company in Houston, Texas. I am changing his name to Mr.
Gallagher in order to protect his anonymity.
My friend has been in the US for 18 years, having arrived with his
mother, two brothers and a sister at the age of 10. He went to school
and completed high school and now he does stone work, i.e. he puts
flagstone around swimming pools, builds fireplaces, creates stone
entryways and wine cellars for very expensive homes. He works for $75
cash a day when there's work. No health insurance, no sick pay, no
vacation, no unemployment, no workers comp, just $75 per day.
He is not complaining. He spends all of his earnings buying
things to live, therefore paying sales taxes thus supporting the local
and Texas state budget. He rents an apartment, therefore paying
property taxes, which in Texas helps pay for the schooling he received.
He's not complaining. He used to have a landscaping job for many years
where they took out ! taxes. He paid federal income taxes and paid into
the social security fund and Medicare fund. He did not complain.
So if you need a job or know anybody that does, please come on
down to Texas where we have lots of jobs I am sure you would be
qualified for. Don't worry about my friend, he can always find a job.
Employer's love him since he goes to work, takes the pay he's offered
does his job and doesn't complain. I hope you and your friends will
enjoy your new job. Just don't complain.
Yes, Mr. Gallagher, there are countless Americans that need jobs
like the one your friend has. The unemployment rate in the Houston area
was 6.4 percent as this February. Last February, it was 4.3 percent.
There are many thousands of people who need jobs when the unemployment
rate is at 6.4 percent.
police were called out to control the crowd of thousands seeking 65
full-time jobs (Andrea Mohin/The New York Times/Redux)
For example, in New York City, in November, 2006, at the height of the
subprime loan/Wall Street boom, the official unemployment rate in the
city was 4.5 percent. Early that month, Mars Inc., the candy
manufacturer that makes M&Ms, was opening a retail store in
Manhattan. The company put out a help-wanted ad offering 65 full-time
jobs at $10.75 an hour, and about 135 part-time jobs. The New York Times
reported that,“Several thousand people — mostly young, black and
Hispanic — had shown up to apply for fewer than 200 positions, only 65
of them full-time jobs.”
Making $10.75 per hour may sound like a lot of money to people in many
areas of the United States, but in New York City the cost of living is
very high, and that is not sufficient even to live with dignity as a
single adult, much less for a family. That wage rate works out to about
$21,000 per year, and the poverty line for a family of four is $26,000
per year in New York City. A recent credible study said that it
requires an income of $100,000 per year to be middle class in New York
This was for jobs to work in a candy store. A candy store! Not
jobs at a Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant, or jobs at a military
contractor. It was a heartbreaking and soul-crushing view of the
desperation that exists just under the surface of the United States
economy. If it was that bad when the official unemployment rate was 4.5
percent, imagine how bad it is now that the unemployment rate is 8.2
percent in the New York area. This episode is one major data point
towards proving the proposition that the official unemployment rate is inaccurate and deceptively low.
So I suspect that a 6.3 percent official unemployment rate in the
Houston area indicates a serious situation - something even worse than
what existed in New York in 2006 when the official unemployment rate
was 4.5 percent.
Several thousand people were desperate for those 65 full-time
jobs at $10.75 per hour. “Many had arranged for baby sitters, traveled
from other boroughs and New Jersey, and lined up as early as 1 a.m.,
only to be told eventually that there were no more jobs being offered
that day. … Jose Muñoz, 19, of Queens, stood in line and lost out on a
day’s pay as a driver’s helper for United Parcel Service. A part-time
employee, he makes $8 an hour, he said, and hoped for a Mars position
because “this was a full-time job.”
Mr. Gallagher, $10.75 per hour works out to $86 per day, and your
friend makes $75 per day. But your friend works “off the books.” So he
makes $75 and pays no income, social security, or medicare taxes. So
his $75 is actually better than earning $86 before taxes. Additionally,
the cost of living in Texas is lower than the cost of living in New
York City. The New Yorkers should indeed be interested in an after-tax
income of $75 per day in an area with a lower cost of living.
There are no benefits (such as health insurance) to your
friend’s job, while I presume there were benefits to the 65 full-time
jobs at the candy store. However, the standard reply that we always
hear from the amnesty lobby is, “If undocumented workers were made
legal, they will have the bargaining power to get those benefits.” So
according to the amnesty lobby’s own words, those legal workers in New
York and all over the country could get benefits if they had your
illegal alien friend’s job.
The M&M Mars incident shows that we do have thousands of legal
workers in the New York area, thousands in the Houston area, and
probably millions around the United States, who are not even in the
official unemployment statistics and need decent jobs. If there are
such jobs unfilled in the Houston area, then it is probably because
employers are not reaching out sufficiently to the unemployed in their
own city, and failing that, they could reach out to unemployed
Americans in other cities. There is no need to bring in people from
foreign countries to fill these jobs. So thank you, Mr. Gallagher, for
letting us know about the jobs in Texas.
CHARLES BREITERMAN is a Lawyer and Research Analyst for NumbersUSA