We support immigration reform that will enhance our national security, discourage misclassification of workers (calling them independent contractors), and grow our taxable legal workforce. Our slogan is simple, ID’em and Tax’em!
Our current immigration laws do not work. Some folks like to say, “We don’t need new immigration laws; we just need to enforce those we have.” The truth is our current labor law created by the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986 has forced law abiding employers to hire illegal immigrants by the millions!
How is that possible? Current law says “if the applicant’s identification looks legitimate, and the applicant otherwise qualifies, you must hire him.” If an employer refuses to hire the applicant because of suspicion that he or she may not be here legally, the employer is guilty of discrimination.
Of course, business owners that follow the law by completing an I-9 on every applicant also deduct and match Medicare and Social Security taxes. They pay state unemployment taxes. They pay hourly rates and comply with overtime rules. They provide workers compensation and group health. And in most cases, they pay for sick leave, vacations, and holidays. Add all that up, and the law abiding employer has a labor burden of at least 40%. For the good faith employer it does not stop there. The law abiding employer has I-9 records. That makes him a target for ICE. What fun, since he complied with the law, and treated his workers as “employees,” he not only pays a 40% or greater labor burden, his company is a target for I-9 audits and potential fines from the Department of Homeland Security.
Why have employees? Why not cheat the system like so many employers have done?
If you are willing to cheat, you simply call all of your workers “independent contractors.” A dishonest employer can easily be the low bidder. He has no labor burden. His injured workers go to the emergency room and, more often than not, they do not pay. Of course, misclassifying employees as independent contractors is clearly a violation of federal and state rules and regulations.
Current estimates are that we have more than eleven million illegal immigrants in today’s workforce. They drive their children to school. They drive themselves to work, and in most states, they drive without a driver’s license because we do not allow them to apply or be tested.
The solution is simple. Congress must adopt a way for these eleven million workers to earn their legal status. In order to earn to legal status, they should be required to provide a positive ID, pass a criminal background check, pay reasonable fines, provide proof of employment and proof of US residency for at least five years, agree to learn English, and agree to work only for employers that deduct and match taxes.