by Scott McKay | November 5, 2015 2:05 pm
By now you’ve heard about the 6,000 inmates in federal prisons to be let out via an executive order by President Obama. It’s becoming a major political football, reaching all the way down into state races this year.
But as it turns out, letting those 6,000 inmates – most of whom appear to be drug dealers, as Obama is targeting those with convictions on various drug possession charges that typically are the result of plea deals defendant suspected of far worse have made – out of prison is only the beginning of the president’s munificence.
Now he wants to give them a leg up in the job market.
The administration announced on Monday that all federal agencies are prohibited from asking an individual about their criminal history on a job application, choosing instead to broach the subject much later in the potential applicant screening process, according to MSNBC.
Obama himself admitted such an action would make it easier for former inmates to get a job in this manner, telling prisoners in Oklahoma this summer: “If the disclosure of a criminal record happens later in a job application process, you’re more likely to be hired.”
“If they have a chance to at least meet you, you’re able to talk to them about your life, what you’ve done, maybe they give you a chance,” he added.
The “ban the box” move was largely symbolic, as most federal agencies have already been waiting to inquire of job applicants about their criminal histories.
Obama also also demanded that Congress pass a law turning his executive order into an actual statute prohibiting government agencies from inquiring about applicant’s criminal histories and exerted pressure on private businesses to do the same.
This is in addition to a slew of other measures ostensibly intended to make gaining employment easier for former inmates, such as $8 million in education grants for released prisoners and $8.7 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing for the convicts.
The White House was also reportedly working to make it easier for criminals to have their records expunged once they had been released, making it virtually impossible for prospective employers to know if an individual they are considering hiring has a criminal history or not.
All of this while millions of American citizens without criminal records find themselves unable to get a job or find a place to live. It just goes to show where Obama’s priorities are.
These “Ban the Box” campaigns are going on around the country, and they’re a cause celebre among Democrats playing on the honorable American impulse to rehabilitate people who have made mistakes and turn them into productive citizens.
But since Obama and the Left can’t force private businesses to hire convicted criminals and know there is no effective way to attempt that, they’re moving within what they can control – namely, government hiring.
And that makes sense even within honorable motives. But here’s the problem – what effect would a large-scale program of hiring ex-cons in government jobs have on government itself? Would that tend to make government less corrupt, or more? Would it tend to make government more restrained by the bounds of the Constitution and statue, or less?
You already know the answers to those.
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