The most recent twist in the immigration debate will take a direct hit on employers, that according to a the vote in the Senate on Tuesday (May 23). According to the pending legislation, employers will be fined up to $20,000 per unauthorized employee, should the bill pass.
This explanation comes from Associated Press, by way of CNN.
Employers would have to check Social Security numbers and the immigration status of all new hires within 18 months after money is provided to the Homeland Security Department to expand the electronic system for screening workers. The amendment passed 58-40. Opponents said the verification system would take years to implement and complained that workers deemed illegal could still hold on to jobs until their appeals are exhausted.
Employers who don’t use the new computerized system could be fined $200 to $600. The system would include information from the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the Homeland Security Department.
The $20,000 fines for hiring illegal immigrants once the new screening system is in place would be double the present level. Repeated violators could be sentenced to prison terms of up to three years.
The House passed a bill in December that would impose fines on employers of undocumented workers ranging from $5,000 to $40,000. But, unlike the Senate bill, the House measure would require employers to screen all employees — an estimated 140 million people — instead of only new hires.