Lawmakers Support Bill Stopping Flow of Illegal Workers

Sun Gazette

WELLSBORO – Area lawmakers this week voted in favor of a pair of House bills requiring contractors and subcontractors doing business for the state to verify employment eligibility of their workers.

The bills, which received bipartisan support from legislators, will reduce the number of illegal construction workers in the state, supporters claim.

“It just helps ensure that workers that work on public works jobs are citizens of the U.S. and here legally,” said state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that up to 175,000 illegal workers are in the state, 18 percent of them employed in construction.

State Rep. John Galloway, D-Levittown, who sponsored both bills, said many good-paying jobs have been lost to illegal immigrants who are willing to work “under the radar” for less pay and no benefits.

The new laws require contractors and subcontractors to verify eligibility of new workers through the E-Verify program and existing employees through the Social Security Number Verification Service.

“It cracks down on illegal immigrants,” said state Rep. Matt Baker, R-Wellsboro. “It keeps contractors and subcontractors from bidding on state contracts.”

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