undreds of thousands of Illegal alien workers in the U.S. will soon be getting paid taxpayer money on government-contracted jobs.
A provision that would have required employers who get federal economic stimulus money to verify that their employees are legally entitled to work in the U.S. was stripped form the final version of the $787 billion spending package approved by Congress last month.
The move means that hudreds of thousands of illegal aliens will be able to get jobs on more than $100 billion in government funding for construction projects including roads, buildings, schools, and public housing.
The provision, first included in the House version of the spending bill, would have required that employers getting the federal stimulus money participate in the federal E-Verify system. It is an Internet system that helps employers confirm the legal status of all new hires in just seconds. With just one click of a computer mouse, a new employee's Social Security number can be compared with more than 425 million records in the database of the Social Security Administration, and more than 60 million records in the immigation database of the Department of Homeland Security. The system is free and helps prevent employers from unknowingly hiring an illegal alien.
Congressional leaders Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, whose important party constitutents include not only Hispanic ethnic advocacy groups as well as big business consortiums that hire illega aliens, arranged to remove the requirement in a House-Senate conference on the final stimulus legislation.
The E-Verify system is strongly opposed by big business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and left-wing groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the National Council of La Raza.
Sen Jeff Sessions, R-AL, said removing the E-Verify provision "undermines one of the most effective programs" to stop illegal aliens from taking U.S. jobs.
"On three separate occasions, Senate Democrats blocked a simple roll call vote on my amendment to require that contractors benefitting form the stimulus use E-Verify to ensure that lawful Americans were hired," he said. Removing the provision "are a clear signal that they want to use taxpayer money to employ people who are in this country illegally."
The Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., estimates that at least 300,000 illegal aliens will likely end up getting jobs from the stimulus bill. CIS said that about one of every seven construction jobs (about 15 percent) goes to an illegal. According to government figures, each $1 billion spent on construction will create about 19,000 jobs.
"Thus, if no effort is made to bar illegal immigrants from these jobs, it is extremely likely that about 300,000 will go to illegal immigrants," said CIS in its analysis