State House OK’s Plan To Verify Immigration Status

July 2010Newsletters In the Zone

By an overwhelming vote, Pennsylvania's House of Representatives approved on June 8, 2010, legislation aimed at curbing construction companies from hiring illegal immigrants.

House Bills 1502 and 1503 , which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and now move to the state Senate for consideration, would require contractors and subcontractors doing business in Pennsylvania to verify the employment eligibility of their employees. New employees would be verified through the E-Verify Program. Existing employees would be verified through the Social Security Number Verification Service. Contractors that violate these rules could be barred from state projects or, in the case of private construction work, face forfeiture of state licenses or certifications. The bills also would offer protection for whistle-blowers who report construction sites hiring illegal workers.

There are an estimated 35,000 illegal construction workers in Pennsylvania. The unemployment rate in the construction industry is more than 35 percent. In addition to the negative impact on jobs, prime sponsor Rep. Galloway (D-Bucks County) said illegal employment brings fiscal strain to local communities and the state.

For more information, please contact Lauren W. Taylor at 215.918.3625 or [email protected].