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Dear commissioners, please use E-Verify

Dear Columbia County Commissioners Hyde, Fisher, and Heimuller:

I ask the commissioners require Columbia County government use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security E-Verify system.

The importance of Oregon employers using U.S. DHS- E-Verify system really becomes apparent when looking at Oregon's unemployment rate in September 2011 being at 9.6 percent, 178,174 Oregonians were unemployed.

The September unemployment numbers for Oregonians in Columbia County were at 10.8 percent; 2,454 of the county's residents were unemployed.

Unemployed Oregonians who are U.S. citizens or foreign citizens legally present with authorization to work in the country should not have to compete for jobs with a purported 97,000 undocumented foreign national workers illegally in the state.

If all Oregon government and business entities not currently using U.S. DHS E-Verify system were required to use it, Oregon's unemployment rate would drop dramatically because all new jobs created in the state would go to U.S. citizens or those legally present to work in the country.

Currently more than 2,000 Oregon businesses and government entities are successfully using the 98.6 percent accurate U.S. DHS-E-Verify system.

Ten of 36 Oregon county governments are now using the E-Verify system (Deschutes, Harney, Jefferson, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook and Washington counties).

At least 14 Columbia County businesses and government entities (city of Vernonia, Clatskanie School District, Columbia Drainage Vector Control District, Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, and Scappoose School District 1J) presently use the E-Verify system.

Commissioners Hyde, Fisher and Heimuller, I ask the commissioners require Columbia County government use the U.S. DHS- E-Verify system so if a job opening becomes available to work for the county a qualified U.S. citizen or foreign citizen legally present with authorization to work in the country can be first in line for that job.

- David Olen Cross, Salem

[Editor's note: David Olen Cross writes about foreign national crime and illegal immigration issues.]