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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Republican Strategy: Torpedo a Bill, Attach Immigration to It

Republican Strategy: Torpedo a Bill, Attach Immigration to It

LatinaLista — It wasn’t enough that Republicans had to parade around the country last summer and hold bogus “field hearings” on what the public thought about illegal immigration and undocumented immigrants.

For anyone who attended those sessions, it was obvious that the so-called witnesses were stacked in favor of the Republican position.

It was a waste of taxpayer money that didn’t resolve anything.

But wasting money seems to be a trait by some Republicans – or at the very least witholding money until they get their way.

News reports flooded the wires this morning about the new minimum wage bill the Democratic Congress wants to pass.

The Senate’s version of the bill was altered by some Republican senators. It seems they’re not too happy about the bill to begin with and so what better way to either kill it or get their way on immigration reform measures than to include a provision that has no business in a bill trying to raise the minimum wage for the poorest workers of this country.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama tacked on an amendment to the minimum wage bill that would impose a contract ban on those federal contractors who hire undocumented immigrants. The companies would be banned from government work for up to 10 years, even if they inadvertently hired undocumented immigrants.


Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions

The worse part is that the businesses would not be allowed to appeal the ban in court, though the federal government could waive it for national security reasons.

It’s clear that the Senate, by their showing of unanimously approving the ban be inserted in the bill 94-0, either want to instill the fear of God in these businesses or they want to show the rest of the country that their party isn’t giving up the fight.

Either of which is fine but in the process what Republicans fail to see is that what they are doing is not just making a hardship for undocumented immigrants, but all Latinos, and low-wage workers.

If the immigration amendment isn’t approved in the bill, the whole bill dies. According to a Time magazine article:

To become law, the Senate immigration provisions would have to be approved by House and Senate negotiators if and when they meet to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of minimum wage legislation.

Because of the severity of the penalties, these business employers will be leery of hiring any Latino to work for them, even if they screened all hires. They would always second-guess the system, because the slightest flaw would cost them thousands of dollars.

So, these businesses, to play it safe, would probably rather not hire any Latino for fear they were being misled or lied to when it came to that person’s citizenship status.

In turn, those Latinos are deprived of the opportunity for equal employment. Not to mention, a well paying job.

So in the end, what recourse do potential Latino workers have? Sue the business? Sue the government?

With measures like these, it’s hard to believe that the Republican party has the best interests of everyone at heart – especially when they go out of their way to create the worst hardship for those who can least afford it.

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