Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hispanic Population Slows

The U.S. Census bureau released a report stating that the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations that have been growing dramatically has slowed because of declining immigration. But both population still are growing because of lots of babies. Nearly half of all children in the U.S. under five years is Hispanic. The slow down is obviously due to the decline in the economy. Still minorities (Latino, Asian and black) are still moving inexorably toward becoming the country's majority. A couple of state and large counties in some states are already near that point. The recent slowdown only means that date for the nation is put off a couple of years. (See New York Times article.)

With the Obama administration shifting immigration enforcement more to charging employers for hiring undocumented workers, the employers are signing up by droves to use the E-Verify check. E-verify basically is matching Social Security numbers to pay checks. If they don't match, then the employer is expected to terminate the worker. Federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to use the system by the end of June. Critics fault the program as unreliable because of numerous errors. The government claims it is 96% accurate, but 4% error rate represents millions of workers who might be mistakenly terminated. Still employers are signing up, if only to get the government off their backs. (See Los Angeles Times article.) More than 124,000 employers have used the system and a thousand are signing up each week. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the system before Congress and the administration is budgeting more money to bring the cost of the program up to $112 million. Employers report being generally satisfied, though agribusiness still seems reluctant to use it.

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