Much has been written recently about the dismal unemployment rate (13 percent) among returning veterans, including this Jan. 15 Washington Times story, "Veterans’ new battle front: Job market."
The story notes that last year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that for years has had a soft spot for illegal aliens,
Initiated a “Hiring Our Heroes” drive designed to help returning service members and their spouses find jobs. Chamber officials said last week that the Washington-based business group and its local affiliates have hosted 83 hiring fairs in 41 states, putting an estimated 81,000 military veterans and spouses into contact with more than 4,000 employers.
On Friday (Jan. 13), the chamber partnered with NBC News, its local affiliate and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership for what was billed as the largest career forum of its kind at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center dedicated exclusively to helping military spouses get jobs. The gathering featured free makeovers, interview and resume coaching, and interview rooms for applicants to meet with employers.
-- Washington Times, "Veterans' new battle front: Job market", January 15, 2012
This is all well and good, but only a day earlier the chamber's President Thomas Donahue, while warning the nation not to hold its breath waiting for the jobless rate to improve anytime soon, also said we should allow the estimated 12 million illegals to stay here and continue working because without them our prosperity and world leadership will be threatened. Donahue was quick to point out that, no, he’s not advocating that illegals be given citizenship but just, well, you know, “somehow make them ‘official.’ ”
Official or not, the 7 million illegals now holding jobs in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and service industries are preventing many veterans and their families from searching for a better life and forcing them to live in the shadows of a society many of their comrades died to protect.
In his September congressional testimony, American Legion National Commander Fang Wong said a soldier who can drive a truck in a convoy along a dangerous route in Iraq also can drive a truck carrying eggs to a local supermarket. (According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 7 percent of the nation’s illegals were working in transportation in 2008.)
Donahue’s organization wants it both ways, i.e., to be able to show the world that it has an obligation to “do right” by our veterans while at the same time continuing its role as front man for the cheap labor lobby.
DAVE GORAK is a retired career journalist and has been Executive Director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration since 2001
Updated: Mon, Jan 30th 2012 @ 9:15am EST