Workers here illegally prevent hiring of US citizens


Robert D. Green

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Back in late March 2018, we had to move our 33-year-old son home to live with us after he lost his job and then his housing in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.

He lost his job because his car broke down. He had almost eight years of experience in warehousing/distribution. He had a very strong, glowing letter of recommendation from a previous supervisor for whom he worked for over six years. He also has an associate degree from Lehigh Carbon Community College, and is two courses short of a second associate degree.

His last “real” job ended the first Friday in January 2018. Since then, he has applied for almost 1,000 jobs between the Albemarle and Hampton Roads areas. From those applications, he may have gotten 20 to 30 interviews. He received a call for an interview for a stocker position with a grocery chain. He was hired for a 20-hour-a-week, $9-an-hour job as a janitor, which only lasted for about a month. That employer lied to him, and then treated him rawly and let him go under questionable circumstances.

It seems that our “open” porous borders may be a serious obstacle to native-born citizens. How many other long-term unemployed are being denied good jobs while employers hire illegal immigrants for much lower wages? It’s about time to close the southern border and start deporting all of the illegal immigrants and prosecuting the employers who hire them.

I worked in employment security and workforce development for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry for 37 years, the last 10 in “Rapid Response,” responding to business closings, mass layoffs and Trade Act filings. When the Ames Department Store chain closed, they had a large distribution center north of Reading, Pa., employing 865 workers. Of that number, 85 percent were Hispanic. After the closing, there were fewer than 250 unemployment compensation claims filed. What happened to the other 615 workers? Our team’s guess was that the vast majority were illegal immigrants. Word on the street was that more than 65 percent were, indeed, workers here illegally.

What does that have to do with my son’s situation? How many of those jobs ended up being filled by illegal immigrants using a fraudulent ID?

My wife and I hurt for our son, and would be very grateful for any good employer to hire him for a reasonably paying job with a few benefits after a probationary period. You will hire a dependable, loyal, hard-working employee, eager to learn your job. At present, he is very discouraged and having episodes of even deeper discouragement. You may contact him at rlgreen1985@hotmail.com.

Robert D. Green

Elizabeth City