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The immigration issue

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Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 8:52 p.m.

A hidden factor in continuing high unemployment — unaddressed in the race for the White House — is that immigrants have fared better than native-born Americans under the Obama administration.

A new Center for Immigration Studies ( analysis of government data finds two-thirds of the net employment increase since Barack Obama became president has gone to immigrants, mainly legal ones — 1.94 million jobs versus 938,000 for the native-born.

Total immigration is down in recent years, but the United States still admits about 1 million permanent immigrants and several hundred thousand guest workers annually, CIS points out.

Neither the Obama administration nor Congress has acted to modify those levels during an extraordinarily challenging period for native-born workers. In fact, this White House has advantaged immigrants by:

• Offering work authorization to an estimated 2 million illegals who arrived before age 16

• Not detaining illegals detected through employer audits, enabling them to pursue other jobs

• And urging the Supreme Court in 2010 to overturn Arizona's law requiring employers to verify new hires' legal status.

The Obama administration thus has heightened native-born workers' recessionary pain. Immigrants' gains at their expense should have been a campaign issue — and must be an Election Day issue for voters.

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