With Texas’ unemployment at 3.4% and businesses in need of more workers, many undocumented workers have become a necessity to our workforce and economy.
“We certainly couldn't have built Texas without immigrants…We have 2.5 million undocumented in Texas, and half of the construction workers are undocumented. Not because they want to be, because there's no way for them to earn legal status," Marek said.
Because of state legislation like SB4, a lot of workers are leaving Texas to go to one of the twelve states where they can get driver’s permits enabling them to drive to work, get their kids to school, and not worry about being deported for a burned-out tail light.
“We're losing our workers, and I'm talking about the blue-collar workers…if we don't stop this outflow, and if we don't change the rules to where companies that have followed the laws are rewarded for doing it the right way, it's going to destroy our economy,” he said.
He pointed out that when law-abiding businesses like his, which use e-verify, get an ICE audit, they often find out that some of their employees are undocumented. They then have to let them go, and they often go to work for competing employers that file them on 1099’s to avoid payroll taxes and workers comp. This cheats workers out of benefits and wages and gives unscrupulous employers an unfair advantage against legitimate employers that are playing by the rules.
To get these undocumented workers out of the shadow economy, Stan says we should create a method for undocumented immigrants who can pass background checks to obtain tamper-proof IDs and require that they work only for employers who deduct and match taxes.
For every million undocumented workers we can take out of the underground economy and put on a payroll, that’s at least $6 billion per year in Social Security and Medicare taxes, he pointed out.
Stan Marek also made the points that:
Law enforcement leaders like Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo say ID and Tax would make our communities safer because right now undocumented immigrants are afraid to interact with police and quite often won’t report crimes.
Hospitals support it because it would put more undocumented workers on payrolls covered by worker’s comp and safety training, so there would be fewer uninsured ER visits.
Educators support it because it would make it easier for undocumented parents to get involved in their kids’ (our future workforce’s) education.
Well said Stan Marek. You make a lot of sense. Law enforcement, hospitals, and educators agree!
Individuals and business owners need to continue to contact lawmakers and ask them to work on passing sensible immigration policy.
May God bless you, and may He continue to bless America.