Kingston offers federal immigration amendment

“Government contractors should set an example because they are being paid with tax dollars. Our tax dollars should not be used to pay laborers that are in this country illegally.” – Jack Kingston

In an e-mail blast to bloggers today, Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston outlined an amendment that he has presented on several appropriations bills that will be coming to the House floor soon, the first of them, the Labor-HHS bill, will be debated tomorrow.

Kingston’s amendment is targeted at contractors working with the federal government to participate in the Social Security verification program.

Kingston says, “The American people have sent a clear signal to Congress that they want immigration reform in steps, not comprehensive reform. My amendment is one of those steps. We should lead by example and say that we will not allow employers to do business with the federal government unless you have verified the social security numbers of your employees with the Basic Pilot Program.”

The amendment requires:

  • Any federal government contractor or contractor bidding on a federal contract should be in compliance with all federal laws. The Kingston amendment would require any company competing for a government contract to participate in the Basic Pilot Program (sometimes referred to as the Employment Eligibility Verification System) in order to be eligible for government contracts.

And the justification for the amendment is:

  • Numerous government contractors have been caught hiring illegal immigrants. Julie Myers, Assistant Secretary for ICE, has even said herself that “since its inception in 2003, ICE has launched numerous investigations that led to hundreds of arrests at a military instillations, power and chemical plants and other sensitive facilities.”
  • That same office conducted an audit in 2006 that discovered 100 employers had filed the largest number of W-2 forms from 2001 to 2003 for employees who were using “non-work” social security numbers. Non-work social security numbers are issued for identification purposes only.
  • The government itself was the nation’s most egregious filer of W-2’s with non-work SSNs. There were seventeen federal, state, or local government agencies that were identified among the 100 employers that filed questionable W-2’s, 7 of which were federal entities. These employers paid around $1.5 billion in tax dollars to employees who might not be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • The audit found cases that included a contractor who was caught hiring illegal immigrants to help build the border fence meant to keep them out of this country and a contractor being caught using illegal aliens to help rebuild New Orleans after Katrina. There have also been cases where defense contractors have been caught with illegal immigrants working at a shipyard in Mississippi, an Air Force base in North Carolina, and a Marine base in Virginia.