Bill Would Prohibit State From Contracting With Companies Who Hire Illegal Immigrants.
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) has announced introduction of a bill that would prohibit state agencies from contracting with companies who hire illegal immigrants. AB 1615 would require state agencies to verify that contractors have checked their employees through the federal government’s Basic Pilot Program.
“The illegal immigration problem in California is out of control,” said Assemblywoman Runner. “As members of government we must ensure our house is in order before we consider calling on the rest of the state to take measures to verify they are not providing work to illegal immigrants.”
AB 1615 would require companies who contract with the state to verify their employees through the Basic Pilot Program. Furthermore, the state agency would have to verify that the employment records of the bidder or contractor show that none of its employees are illegal immigrants and employees have been subject to the Basic Pilot Program. If a bidder or contractor discovers it is employing an illegal immigrant, they must inform the state agency within three days of that discovery.
The Basic Pilot Program is an employment verification system monitored by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the employer. An employer uses the program to verify the information provided by the employee on the Form I-9 and within a certain period of time a final answer regarding employment eligibility is provided. If an employer continues to employ someone that has been verified as not eligible, they are subject to civil fines between $500 and $1,000 for each failure to notify the Department of Homeland Security.
“This is an important step for the state to take in order to get a handle on the immigration problem in California,” said Assemblywoman Runner. “Waiting around for the federal government to gain control of the situation is not an option–we must take the initiative and pursue all possible means within our power.”
In the coming months this bill will be referred to the appropriate policy committees for an initial hearing.