American Legion needs to take stronger stand against illegal immigration

In his September 21 address to Congress, newly-elected American Legion National Commander Fang Wong spoke about the need to reduce unemployment among the nation's military veterans.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans was nearly 11 percent.

"Veterans job fairs" are all well and good, but in the end they alone will not cut the mustard as long as the federal government that many young Americans risked their lives to defend continues to provide preferential treatment to illegal aliens.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 7 million illegal aliens are working in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and service industries while 22 million Americans are unemployed/underemployed. These jobs belong to the native-born and those who came here legally.

The Legion needs to put teeth into its May 2007 "Policy on Illegal Immigration" (See Employment and Wages, Page 10), and the best way to do it is by strongly supporting the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) that would make the free and easy to use federal E-Verify program mandatory for all employers.  Once in place, E-Verify would begin to remove illegals from their jobs so that they could be given to our own citizens.  Just as important, this bill would close the program's ID theft loophole through which many illegals are able to enter our workforce.

"Our veterans have sacrificed enough," Commander Wong told Congress. "They have paid in full their debt to society. However, the debt society owes them is quite another matter, and it's a matter that The American Legion strongly believes this committee is willing to address."

The only proper way to begin repaying that debt is to fire illegal aliens from their jobs so those regular paychecks can be given to those who wore the uniform.