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Immigration bill grants amnesty to employers of illegals; no prosecution for bogus IDs

by Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times  |  published on April 29, 2013


The debate is raging over whether the latest immigration bill is an amnesty for illegal immigrants, but one part is clear: The legislation would forgive businesses that have employed those immigrants illegally.

Employers who have allowed illegal immigrants to work off the books can come forward safely and provide their work history without fear of prosecution, and businesses that knowingly employed someone using a bogus or stolen Social Security number likewise would get a pass, according to an analysis of the bill by the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that wants a crackdown on immigration.

“The illegal workers at least have to pay a token fine. The employers of illegal immigrants who violated a whole list of laws themselves don’t even have to pay,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the center. “It’s the business side of the amnesty that doesn’t get a lot of focus.”

Business groups’ support is considered critical to getting a bill passed this year, but attention has been focused mostly on a guest worker program and requirements that all employers would have to meet, such as using an electronic verification system to check potential hires.

Indeed, it wasn’t until business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, struck a deal with the AFL-CIO on a guest worker program that the final Senate bill came together.

The chamber said the provisions exempting businesses from penalties “had nothing to do” with earning their support.”Our focus in assessing the bill was looking to the good faith compliance and safe harbor provisions and other terms of the E-Verify mandate, the revisions to the high-skilled worker program, and the creation of a workable low-skilled worker program,” said Blair Holmes, a chamber spokeswoman.

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