Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

The overall unemployment rate is 9.1 percent and the Congressional Budget Office projects that the rate will remain above 7.4 percent until 2014.

The unemployment rate for black Americans is 15.9 percent. Perhaps more relevant,  the black employment/population ratio (i.e., the percentage of non-institutionalized black civilians who are employed) is a mere 50.8 percent.

Rep. Maxine Waters called the black unemployment rate “unconscionable” and criticized your recent bus tour for neglecting black communities. Jesse Jackson has referred to black unemployment as a “state of emergency.”

Just last year, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights gave you a report detailing the commission’s finding that illegal immigration has an adverse impact on the employment and wage rates of low-skilled American workers of all races. The report emphasized, however, that the negative impact of illegal immigration upon black workers in a number of occupations was “significant.”

Nonetheless, upon the conclusion of your bus tour, your administration implemented a policy that effectively grants amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Did you take the Commission’s report into consideration when you were crafting your new illegal-immigration policy? If so, do you consider amnesty for illegal immigrants more important than jobs for Americans?

Did you discuss this new illegal-immigration policy with Maxine Waters or any of the other members of the Congressional Black Caucus before implementation? If so, what did they say? If not, do you plan to discuss the policy with them when you return from vacation?

Is the new illegal-immigration policy a component of the jobs plan you’re going to release in September? If so, in the major speech you’re scheduled to give detailing your jobs plan,  how will you reconcile the adverse effect of your illegal-immigration policy on American employment with your vow to lower the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent by November 2012?

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