Sen. Ted Cruz’s Immigration Reform Bill Amendment DOA In Senate; Employers Fined For Hiring Citizens
Tuesday afternoon, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the floor of the Senate to engage in the debate over S. 744 — the immigration reform bill.
At the beginning of his speech, he offered up an amendment to fix a major part of that bill, but the majority immediately objected meaning that his amendment would not be brought to the floor for a vote.
On June 19, The Brenner Brief reported that there are ten major reasons to oppose the immigration bill. Sen. Cruz addressed item number nine from that story today on the Senate floor. Number nine reads:
9. This bill makes the normalized illegal immigrants less expensive to hire. They all receive waivers from ObamaCare, so the employers will have an incentive to not hire Americans in favor of those who are here illegally because it will be a huge cost savings — at least $2,000 per year for the ObamaCare fines — to the employer. With unemployment rates still high and people having their hours per week lowered so that ObamaCare doesn’t apply to them, is it ethical or American to make American citizens less attractive to hire than people who came here illegally?
In addition, Cruz reminded the Senate that ObamaCare is already forcing employers to cut employees’ hours down to 29 hours due to the requirement that are in effect for full-time employees (full-time is defined as working 30 or more hours each week). John Mariotti of The Brenner Brief reported on this in Nov. 2012, explaining:
… as just the first of many unintended consequences of Obamacare, the 40 hour week will begin to fall prey to the new, 30 hour (non-full-time) workweek. Employees will earn 25 percent less in their weekly paycheck, further worsening the plight of the middle class. While 25 percent more workers will be needed and additional jobs may result, everyone will be proportionally worse off. A second job will be needed to simply “make ends meet” for workers who were accustomed to living from 40 hours pay. … Remember this prediction: the 30 hour workweek will become a new normal, and will cause the number of jobs to increase (to the glee of the Obama bureaucrats). However, their joy will be short-lived when it proves to worsen the plight of the already struggling middle class. They will not only earn one-quarter less, but also they will not be covered by employer health care plans, further adding to the cost of government provided health care. The middle class will be hard hit, since the areas likely to adopt this new, shorter workweek, are some of the largest employers — today’s service economy.
ObamaCare and this immigration bill will force employers to choose between paying fellow Americans or paying illegals who have been recently normalized (called RPIs, or registered provisional immigrants). The RPIs can be paid less because they all receive waivers to ObamaCare. The employer will have to do one of the following:
- fire the citizens and hire the RPIs to save $2,000-$5,000 per year per employee;
- reduce the citizens’ hours to 29 hours per week from 40 so that ObamaCare doesn’t impact those employees, saving $2,000-$5,000 per year for the employer but cutting the employees’ paychecks by 25%; and/or
- hire only RPIs over citizens due to the economic incentives to do so, hurting millions of families competing for low-skill and union jobs.
The 52 Democrats and 15 Republicans who voted in support of cloture apparently support forcing employers to choose among the three options above. Evidently, only 27 Senators understand that this is not good for the United States, our citizens or even illegals who become RPIs.
The food and restaurant industry is especially effected by these ObamaCare and immigration bill caveats – an industry in which many immigrants and low-skill citizens work.
See Sen. Cruz’s entire speech below, as he explains his amendment and why it was needed.