Hiring illegal immigrants used to come with a hefty punishment if a business owner was found out, but now under President Obama’s plan announced through executive action last week, job creators will be rewarded.
The president’s call to offer undocumented workers a path to citizenship will come with a $3,000 per employee financial incentive to any business that wants to hire these workers.
Fox News points out that because of a “kink” in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), “businesses will not face a penalty for not providing illegal immigrants health care.” Furthermore, these workers will not be eligible for public benefits “such as buying insurance on ObamaCare’s health exchanges.”
“If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, commented to The Washington Times. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”
President Obama doesn’t believe that bringing undocumented workers into the workforce is a bad thing, as he stated in recent comments on the executive action.
“Immigrants are good for the economy. We keep on hearing that they’re bad, but a report by my Council of Economic Advisers put out last week shows how the actions we’re taking will grow our economy for everybody,” he said.
John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership in California, one of the most immigrant-heavy states in the nation, agreed that President Obama’s plan was a good thing in comments to the Pasadena Star News.
“Most of those people are probably already working anyway,” Husing said. “And when you talk to any demographer they will tell you that one of the biggest problems we have as a society is that our labor force is getting very old. Most of the undocumented people who are here tend to be younger and they would add to the available workforce in the age group that employers need.”
In the same publication, California Republican assemblyman Tim Donnelly disagreed.
“If you introduce 5 million individuals into the labor force — and I think that’s a really low figure — it will have a dramatic impact on those who are already seeking work…. It will especially have an effect on people who are working at lower income levels where any change in the labor market has the effect of lowering wages. This could depress wages. That’s a real concern.”
What do you think about giving employers financial incentives to hire illegal immigrants — good move, or will it depress the job hunt for native workers?