Opponents of immigration bill say it could affect American jobs, wages
Many people that cross the Juarez-El Paso border have border crossing cards. These cards allow Mexican citizens to visit El Paso for a set amount of time. Even though they're not authorized to work, many do in low-skilled jobs such as hospitality and agriculture.
The new immigration bill passed in the Senate on Thursday will now open the door to 200,000 low-skilled workers by granting them W-visas, or guest worker status.
Once you're clear on their legal status, look at how much you pay them per year. If it's $1,700 or more you must sign up for an employer ID number with the IRS, pay Medicare, Social Security, and Federal Unemployment Tax. This is all reported on your 1040.
For El Paso residents who aren't sure if their Mexican-national employees are working illegally, you may want to find out. According to the IRS, penalties for hiring undocumented workers range from $250 to $10,000.
Allowing immigrants to work in the United States is central to the Senates bill, according to Sen. Marco Rubio (FL-R) who was one of the bill's authors.
"My father had someone actually phonetically write on a small piece of paper the words I am looking for work," Rubio said. "He memorized those words. Those were literally the first words he learned to speak in English.”
But others worry the possibility of 30-60 million new legal immigrants flowing into the country over the next ten years , 90 percent of them estimated to be low-skilled, hurts the 21 million Americans citizens currently unemployed in weak economy with low job creation.
"This bill is going to bring in huge amounts of new workers to take the few jobs that have been created," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL-R) goes on to quote numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, that depict American wages being pulled down after the bill is made into law.
"The quote average wage would be lower under the current law over first dozen years<' Sessions said. "And this shows in 2025 coming back to catch up. But still if the bill hadn't passed we would have had more increased wages here."
Opponents of the bill say it would deal a crippling blow to the American working class. But lower wages mean employers would benefit. Their household help and construction projects would be cheaper, and workers more available.
This is an issue that is sure to come up on July 10th, when the House Republican Conference will meet to figure out how to address the Senate passed bill. The prospects of passage, aren't positive.
"We’re going to do our own bill through regular order, and it’ll be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people," Boehner said.
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