Obama ignores plight of legal jobless

August 24, 2012

As I read the recent editorial addressing President Barack Obama's order that will add at least 1.7 million children of illegal immigrants to the already-bleak job market ("Growing up American," Aug. 19), I was certain The Sun would comment on the calamitous effect this election-year tactic will have on American black youth, U.S. citizens all, whose unemployment rate rose from 14.4 percent in June to 15 percent in July, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Silly me. Despite the nearly 50 percent unemployment rate among black teenagers (16-19) being the highest since World War II, according to economist and columnist Walter E. Williams, the Sun ignored that desperate situation in favor of praising one more bypass of Congress which, by law, is the only federal branch with authority for setting U.S. immigration policy.

What's more destructive to black youth is that President Obama's action, taken without any hearings about its effect on not just the job market but on education and college availability, slashes Americans' opportunities by opening in-state tuition, Pell grants and other resources to illegal residents. Not only do black youth today have a depressingly bad job market, even if they can get work their odds of finding spots in college and affording it are bleaker yet thanks to the White House.

As the grandson of people who came to this wonderful country to build a better life, I understand the hopes of anyone, lawfully or not, who wants to do the same. But to use one of the most precious gifts we Americans have to offer — residency in the United States — in a political stunt to help boost his campaign, Mr. Obama proves he is far more concerned about the welfare of illegal immigrants than he is about the dreams of the millions and millions of young Americans of all races who are struggling to find a job.

Don Struke, Baltimore

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