Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Oklahoma Bill Making Hiring of Illegal Aliens an Unfair Labor Practice Addresses a Serious Threat to the American Middle Class

(Washington, DC – January 25, 2005) A bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature by State Senator Tom Adelson would address the single greatest threat to American workers: the systematic and widespread employment of illegal aliens. While the federal government refuses to take action against employers who undercut opportunities and wages for American workers, Sen. Adelson’s Oklahoma Fair Employment Act (Senate Bill 510), would impose state penalties against such employers and allow citizens and legal U.S. residents to take action against them.
A report by the Wall Street investment firm Bear Stearns earlier this month revealed that the pervasive employment of illegal aliens is a direct threat to middle class workers in the United States. According to the report, between 4 and 6 million U.S. jobs have shifted from the legal work force to the underground since 1990 as employers have systematically replaced American workers with lower wage illegal aliens.

"There is a mounting body of evidence that the vast majority of poor and middle class Americans are being directly and indirectly harmed by mass illegal immigration," noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "These American workers and taxpayers have had almost no legal recourse to defend themselves against employers who blatantly violate federal immigration laws while depriving millions of Americans a fair opportunity to find work and improve their wages." The Oklahoma Fair Employment Act represents one of the most important labor protection programs since the establishment of the minimum wage and the adoption of occupational safety and health standards.

"Enactment of Oklahoma Senate Bill 510 would represent not only a significant protection for workers in Oklahoma, but would be an important model for Congress and the other 49 states," Stein continued. "Senator Adelson is among a growing number of political leaders around the country who have come to recognize the devastating impact that mass illegal immigration is having on working Americans, and is at the vanguard of a growing grassroots movement demanding that something be done to address this crisis."

Among the important protections established by Oklahoma Senate Bill 510:

The right of authorized U.S. workers to take action against employers who discharge them while continuing to employ illegal aliens.
Compensation paid to illegal alien workers will not be deductible business expenses from state taxes.
Suspension of corporate charters of companies that knowingly employ illegal aliens.
Companies employing illegal aliens will be barred from state contracts or grants.
Safe harbor status is granted to employers who verify the eligibility status of workers using the online “Basic Pilot Program” established by Congress in 1996.
"These protections for American workers and honest employers should be adopted nationally. We congratulate Sen. Adelson for acting in the best tradition of Oklahoma and offering them ‘sooner,’" Stein concluded.
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