Does The Immigration Bill Create An Incentive To Hire Illegal Immigrants Under Obamacare?


“Under Obamacare, businesses with over 50 workers that employ American citizens without offering them qualifying health insurance could be subject to fines of up to $3,000 per worker,” reports Phil Klein for the Washington Examiner. “But because newly legalized immigrants wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges until after they become citizens – at least 13 years under the Senate bill – businesses could avoid such fines by hiring the new immigrants instead.”

That’s a big deal, and apparently it’s a side effect of the legislation members of Congress aren’t considering. The Weekly Standard asked five proponents of the immigration legislation whether or not employers would have a major financial incentive to hire non-citizens, and they couldn’t answer:

“I don’t know. I’d have to look at it closely,” said Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. “I just haven’t read it that closely to know.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said he thought the Affordable Care Act’s fines would apply no matter what. “I’d have to look at the ACA, but I don’t think it distinguishes” between citizens and those on a path to citizenship, Blumenthal said. But then he said he wasn’t quite sure. “I mean I’d have to look. You’re asking a legal question. It’s not an opinion question,” Blumenthal added. “I don’t recall any distinction in the law. But that’s a good question. I’d have to check.”

Senator Tom Carper of Delaware said he was too busy to answer the question. “I don’t have the time to drill down on it right now,” he told me. And Senator Barbara Boxer of California replied with something of a non sequitur before the Senators-only elevator doors closed in my face. “I think if you work for an employer who offers health care, you will get the health care you want,” Boxer said. Spokesmen for Senators McCain and Rubio did not reply to a request for comment.

This catch-22 illustrates both the rock-and-a-hard-place position Obamacare is putting employers in, and the foolishness of rushing ahead with major immigration legislation without an appropriate amount of debate and scrutiny.

And I say that as someone who is in favor of fixing our illegal immigration by legalizing some of the people already here, and making legal immigration in general easier. But between our welfare state, and Obamacare, opening the gates to immigrants like that is going to have serious consequences.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • zipity


    Next question.

    Not only that, it promises bogus “strengthening” of the border, much like the fatally flawed 1986 Amnesty bill did.

    The Libs have absolutely no intention of following through on any of the enforcement provisions in the bill. It’s all lies to give Rino’s cover for supporting amnesty.

    • Gern Blanston

      Funny how we can’t pass these laws piecemeal. Pass a law securing the border; pass a different law addressing the illegal aliens; pass another law improving the immigration process for legal aliens. No, instead we must bundle everything into something ‘comprehensive.’ In my view it is for obfuscation purposes only. Its a lot easier to bury the dirty details in a 1200 page bill – and get away with NOT securing the border, not to mention unrelated pork.

  • Ratbite

    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!!!! Guess Obama & his Marxist Democrat minions do not want American citizens working. The fat cat employers should be happy cuz they can cut their labor costs by hiring the newly legalized illegals. Thank you John Hoeven & the rest of the cajoneless RINOs in the Senate & House. Thank you. I’ll remember on election day.

  • Say It

    Looks like Congress does not even know, what is in the legislation.
    They need to read it, before voting on it. Looks like ObamaCare. Pass it and then find out what it was all about.

  • mikemc1970

    I would be surprised if this was unintentional.

    • $8194357

      Olagarchy’s agenda…

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Someone better tell the unions that right after Obama had anal sex with them he stabbed them in the back. Why would anyone hire a white union worker when you can get a future union Mexican for half the price?
    suckers – usefull idiots

  • $8194357

    What part of illegal is so dang hard to understand?
    A Constitutional Republic if ya can keep it mam..

    It looks like the 1200-page immigration bill is an inevitability in the Senate. Enough Republicans joined the Democrats to vote in favor of invoking cloture on an amendment that proponents claim will boost border security.

    There is no guarantee that any new set of immigration laws will ever be enforced. There are laws on the books right now that are not enforced.

    It is illegal to be an illegal alien. There are laws that specify what constitutes an illegal alien and what should be done to restrict and prosecute. Even so, there are tens of millions of illegal aliens in the United States.

    What makes any of us think that any new law will be followed or enforced? There are so many legal loopholes and caveats that we will never see any enforcement.

    We’re becoming a third-world country where, quoting Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), “there is no good faith. . . . Treaties are scraps of paper; constitutions, printed matter; elections, battles; freedom, anarchy; and life a torment.”[1]

    All 52 of the Democrat senators who voted were joined by 15 Republicans to invoke cloture which moves the bill one step closer to passage:

    Read more:

  • devilschild

    I knew they were going this route. I read about this during the Crystal Sugar lockout. When Alan Greenspan was chairman of the fed he told Congress we need to bring in more people. Now instead of outsourcing jobs they will insource cheaper labor. Our kids and grandkids are going to get the worst end of this yet the people we elect to represent us aren’t representing us.

  • SigFan

    That’s not a bug … it’s a feature. And the woefully ignorant public continues to allow the country to be sold right out from under them. I guess it won’t sink in until we hit third world status though.

  • toomuchguvmint
  • wj

    Well, let’s get some things straight. They would not be “illegal” under this plan. They would be new immigrants here legally. Those new immigrants have as much right to work as anyone else.

    The problem, therefore, is with the skewed incentives built into Obamacare, not the immigration proposal.

    • Rob

      The the consequences for passing the immigration bill in light of other policies in place is something we should consider, no? I’m very much for more immigration. Make legal immigration easier. Let’s find a way for the people already here to become legal.

      But what I worry about is the impact that’s going to have on our present entitlement state, and on policies like Obamacare.

  • John Zych

    Now how is the bill FAIR to the people of Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia? They can’t simply sneak across a border. They go through the process LEGALLY.