Monday, June 7, 2010
Democratic Representative John Galloway of Bucks County says he has been working on this legislation for years and believes it has the support to pass. The two house bills (1502, 1503) seek to keep employers from hiring illegal immigrants by adopting the optional federal E-Verify program where new employees would have their residency status checked and existing employees would be confirmed through the Social Security Number Verification Service. Contractors who do no follow the rules could be barred from state projects or in the case of private construction work, they could be forced to forfeit their state licenses or certifications. Galloway says the combination of the illegal workers and the economic downturn have decimated the construction industry in Pennsylvania. He says these bills are necessary because of what he deems a lack of federal action when it comes to dealing with the employment of illegal immigrants. Galloway is quick to point out that these bills are specifically crafted for Pennsylvania and don't have anything to do with Arizona's recent illegal immigrant legislation. He says his bills "would protect jobs and level the playing field for honest companies that do the right thing by hiring American workers and those legally authorized to work here."