Obenshain’s immigration bill

Brent Finnegan -- January 21st, 2008

Today Senator Mark Obenshain introduced SB782 to the Courts and Justice Committee. The bill would amend the state code so that state regulatory bodies can revoke an employer’s license if s/he employ “persons who are not legally eligible to be employed in the United States.”

Earlier this month, Obenshain told the DNR that “he does not plan to introduce any bills aimed at curbing illegal immigration.”

16 Responses to “Obenshain’s immigration bill”

  1. Bubby says:

    This is lipstick on a pig. For years ineligible workers have been able to procure documents that verify their eligibility for employment. Employers can easily show that they have checked employee “papers”. If Obenshain wants to legislate, then let him begin with a state agency to certify documentation, and pay for it. Otherwise this is just pandering, and an unfunded mandate.

  2. finnegan says:

    Agreed, Bubby.

    Perhaps when Mellott posed the question, “What about illegal immigration bills? Got any of those?” Obenshain said no, but was thinking to himself, “Aw, snap! I knew I forgot something!”

  3. Bubby says:

    This kind of thing is as silly as that dumbass fence WE are paying for down on the border. What kind of sensible people build their defenses at the front door (so to speak). We need to stabilize that corrupt excuse for a nation – Mexico, and push reform into Central America. Maybe the reason we are not moving so fast on that project is because Mexico is our #2 oil connection.

    America has a long history of making friends with people that have oil you know.

  4. Seth says:

    why do you guys think that this is such a bad idea? i understand that folks can get fake papers easily and that the burden is not on the employer to establish the authenticity of documents. however, there has to be some reasonable standard for the way in which they determine legal status. and if they don’t meet the established standard, i don’t have a problem with consequences that hurt. it’s absurd to suggest that we need another federal or state agency which would receive and verify all documentation for all new hires in all industries across the board (the only way i see such a thing could operate without running into serious concerns about profiling). if employers get hit hard, i think that they will figure out how to distinguish real documentation from fake in most situations. of course it won’t miraculously shut down work opportunities for illegals (please know that i don’t see that as the endgame) but it strikes me as a commitment to moving in the right direction.

  5. Draegn88 says:

    A better way would be to remove an illegal alien’s ability to bank and conduct finacial actions.
    1 All payment for work rendered must be done by check.
    2 Checks may only be cashed at a federally insured bank.
    3 The person cashing the check must have an account that is in good standing at the bank where they cash said check.
    4 The ID of the person cashing the check will be verified.
    5 The authencity of the check will be verified.
    6 All foreign money transfers can only be done by a federally insured bank of which there will be a 50% tariff fee of the amount transferred paid to the federal government.

    Do these things and watch how many illegal aliens leave.

  6. Grover says:

    This bill is a reasonable way to approach control of illegal immigration, if it’s implemented effectively. Too many measures aim to stop illegal immigration by punishing the immigrants, but overlook the fact that illegal immigration is fueled by the employers who deliberately hire illegals. These employers are the real criminals in this situation and should bear the brunt of enforcement.

    At the same time, legislators should also be careful not to make life difficult for legal immigrants and the honest employers who hire them.

  7. Tom says:

    For those of you that think this is a good bill… let me propose this question.

    As an employer, when you hire someone and you get a copy of their driver’s license and SS card. That is all that is required as an employer. Now why is it fair for the government to come after me as an employer when I hired this person whom provided the proper paper work. The government has provided me with no database to check this persons’ SSN against so how am I suppose to know if it’s correct and legal? Yet, Obenshain wants to take my business license away??? Does that sound fair???

  8. Frank J Witt says:

    Tom, nice try. As an employer, you can go to this new thingy called the Internet, which will cost you all of $30, which is fully refundable through the cost of business, and do a data search/background check on these future employees of yours.

    Crying unfair is UNFAIR to the rest of us responsible business owners that do more than what you state above. Either you have something to hide (possibly paying your employees CASH) or you just want to make ore excuses to pay your help less than what they rightfully deserve IF they can do the job without added expenses.

    JMHO…of course.

  9. finnegan says:

    In this story from today’s DNR, the headline says, “Some Employers Still Resist Obenshains Bill To Curb Hiring Illegals” but the article has no quotes of opposition to the bill. If I’m missing it, please point it out to me.

    Essentially, this bill enacts penalties at the state level that already exist at the federal level. My guess is that it will be signed into law with expediency, everyone that voted for it will pat themselves on the back, and the law won’t be enforced, just as the federal laws on the books are not enforced.

    Everyone in power knows that the immigration laws and quotas need serious overhauling, but the lawmakers would rather look good to the public by passing legislation that does little or nothing in the end.

  10. Gxeremio says:

    Yeah the bill basically says, IF you are convicted of hiring unauthorized aliens under federal law, then the State Corporation Commission MAY revoke your corporate existence for a minimum of one year, IF they want to. So does anyone know how many employers this bill could have applied to in Virginia in the last few years? My guess is not many.

  11. Marcus says:

    It seems that Arizona has had some success this month passing state immigration laws: http://www.alipac.us/article2941.html

    Though as the article mentions some of that is also due to a poor job market.

    Does anyone have statistics on the number of 2007 businesses that were caught with illegal immigrant employees?

  12. JGFitzgerald says:


    You’re right about Mellott. The story didn’t support the lead-in. You will also find that he (and his editor, Longley) will use a plural (authorities say, opponents suggest, witnesses testified) but then cite only one. Another vague Mellott-ism is “expected.” Council is expected to approve, the senator is expected to introduce. The story often doesn’t say who is doing the expecting, or why.

    There’s no intent behind it. It’s just lazy writing.

  13. David Miller says:

    I don’t care to debate this at all but I would love to know a reasonable answer to the following questions.

    1.) If there are employers who are hiring undocumented workers to the scale that it necessitates legislation, who will fill the labor force void that effective legislation should be intended to create?
    2.) If I recall the Valley’s unemployment rate is 2% or lower. We do not have an excess workforce to fill any gap between demand and supply. What proposed legislation will address the labor gap that Obenshain’s bill should create if it is indeed effective?

  14. Marcus says:

    Dave – I don’t want to debate either, but here are some other things to consider for both sides of the argument from some of the immigration research I came across:

    – I read somewhere (can’t find it now) it is estimated that current legal workers could/would have filled only about 25% of the jobs that immigrants often take. (I’m sure this is enormously arguable, but leads me to think something along the lines of allowing some or all current illegal immigrants to become legal should be considered)

    – there is a fear that legal immigrants could lose jobs in stringent legislation areas because employers are too afraid to hire them in case they are using fake documents

    – not all areas are doing as well on unemployment so I am guessing the idea is that this would create jobs in the valley if it were successful?

    – my brother-in-law went through a two year nightmare trying to prove that he should be allowed to be a legal immigrant. Also now that he’s legal: he’s a mason competes against companies that often under pay illegals which drive his prices down. This forces him to consider following suit or changing careers.

    – I imagine there are a number of other would-be legal immigrants that could fill some of these jobs but for better pay? If it were easier to get in the country.

    I don’t know enough about the topic to answer your questions I just wanted to share some of what I’ve come across. I’m much more concerned in making sure people are receiving fair pay for their labor, have opportunity to advance/get health insurance/etc. and are being taxed appropriately than I am about kicking anyone (that’s already here) out for the heck of it. That said I’d like to see those that are trying to do it properly treated well and given a fair chance at coming to the States. The search for a quality solution continues…

  15. Reagandem says:

    David, I am no expert but would like to throw out some thoughts on your #1 above. Is it really important that there be enough other workers to replace the undocumented workers? Perhaps an employer faced with too few laborers would decide to invest in a machine to accomplish the same task. Perhaps the machine would be manufactured in an American factory by higher-paid documented workers. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? I have long wondered if the favoring of labor over capital that can result from lower wage/lower skill workers is a large part of the decline of our national manufacturing base. I hope Deb or someone with more knowledge in the area could help us out here. Thanks in advance!

  16. Dave Briggman says:

    The fact of the matter is that the imperial federal government has given employers access to a FREEweb-based tool called “e-verify” for sometime in order to aide in ensuring they aren’t hiring illegal aliens. Most in government here had never heard of 287-g before I raised the issue in Rockingham County on WSVA.

    The law should be that if you don’t choose to fully participate in “e-verify” and you’re found to have hired illegal aliens then localities should be able to revoke business licenses and states should suspend tax ID numbers.

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