Friday, July 5, 2013

TX 83rd 2d Special Files Bill Banning Hiring Illegals

Banning the employment of illegal immigrants may be a topic addressed by the Texas 83rd Legislature's  Second Special Session. This is another topic beyond the stated scope of the special session.

The bill, SB 17, clearly criminalizes the employment of any illegal immigrant or "undocumented worker".
       Sec. 53.051.  PROHIBITION AGAINST KNOWING EMPLOYMENT OF UNAUTHORIZED FOREIGN NATIONAL.  (a)  An employer may not knowingly employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, an unauthorized foreign national.

It further stipulates that an employer must report the residency status and citizenship verification within four days of hiring the individual.

If the employer verifies the documentation and reports it, the employer is not held liable if the documentation provided proves to be false, fraudulent, forged, or stolen identification.

Each even numbered year, visa status, employment status, and citizenship status of employees will be compiled into a non-identifying report to the state government. In other words, a report of the effectiveness and overall demographic numbers concerning legal immigrants, foreign-based workers on legal visas, and other data will be compiled. The data will not include names or other personal identifiable information (such as Social Security numbers, "green card" numbers, or bank account information).

       Sec. 53.151.  BIENNIAL REPORT TO LEGISLATURE. (a)  Not later than November 1 of each even-numbered year, the commission shall prepare and submit to the governor and the legislature a written report based on nonidentifiable, summary data compiled by the commission from complaints filed under Subchapter C during the two preceding state fiscal years.

Given the immigration and border security debates between the states and the federal government, this bill is necessary and, perhaps, long overdue. The 83rd Legislature's regular session should have addressed and voted on the issue.

There is no constitutional prohibition on filing, debating, voting, or passing bills not related to the stated scope and purpose. However, the filing of potentially controversial bills may detract from the considerations necessary to the the three enumerated issues