Thursday, January 29, 2009

FAIR: Obama Rushing to Pass the Economic Stimulus Package While Delaying Vital Protections for American Workers

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama and top administration officials are actively pressuring Congress to pass an expensive economic stimulus package by mid-February, while quietly undermining an administrative rule that would protect American workers. The president has delayed, until May 21, the implementation of an executive order requiring all federal contractors to utilize the E-Verify program to ensure that all workers paid with taxpayer dollars are legally eligible to work in the U.S.

With the federal government poised to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy to create new jobs, the Obama administration appears to be caving in to business and ethnic interest pressure groups to delay, or perhaps eliminate, this vital protection for U.S. workers. Former President George W. Bush issued the executive order last June requiring that companies doing business with the government guarantee that they are employing only eligible workers, effective Jan. 15, 2009. Before leaving office, Mr. Bush delayed implementation until Feb. 20.

"President Obama's single greatest domestic challenge is to get Americans back to work," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR, noting that some 12 million Americans are unemployed. "It defies all common sense to borrow vast sums of money to create new jobs without having a reliable system in place to make sure that American workers will be the ones to fill those jobs."

Amidst a global recession, a massive jobs creation program in the United States is likely to serve as a magnet drawing workers from around the world in search of employment. "E-Verify has proven to be the single most effective tool to protect American workers from losing jobs in their own country to illegal aliens," Stein said. "It is imperative that Congress reauthorize the program and that the administration require companies benefiting from the stimulus package to use the E-Verify system before the first borrowed dollar is spent.

"President Obama came to office promising change and an end to business as usual in Washington. Delaying implementation of an executive order requiring that government contractors hire only legal U.S. workers is a disappointing first gesture on the part of the new administration and one that the president should reconsider before signing any economic stimulus bill," Stein concluded.

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