In an effort to protect jobs for legal residents and reduce New Jersey’s unemployment rate, Assemblyman Gary Chiusano and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, both R-Sussex, Warren and Morris, have introduced legislation that imposes penalties against employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
“According to best estimates, there are about a half a million foreigners living in New Jersey in violation of federal immigration laws,” said Chiusano. “Many of these unauthorized aliens are being employed by unscrupulous New Jersey employers. As a result, legal state residents are being denied much needed jobs. Such practices are counterproductive as we continue our efforts to reform government and improve our business climate.
“We have a fiscal and moral responsibility to implement public policies that foster economic growth and full employment for all legal residents of the State,” he continued. “This measure is intended to hold such employers accountable for their illegal actions.”
The “New Jersey Jobs Protection Act, A-879, requires all employers to use the federal “E-verify” system to check the employment eligibility of each new hire within 90 days of the date of hire.
Chiusano and McHose noted that not only are many unauthorized aliens being paid substandard wages, but they are purposely misclassified to avoid paying State taxes and contributing to State benefit programs, such as unemployment compensation.
“Illegal and unfair competition results in fewer employment opportunities for legal residents, a reduction in State tax revenues, a continued decline of the State’s unemployment insurance fund, a decrease in wages for legal residents and an unfair economic advantage to those employers who do not pay their fair share of State tax obligation,” explained McHose.
“Under the Christie administration we have created more than 103,000 new private sector jobs in three years, despite a national economy that is growing at a snail’s pace at best,” she continued. “Many challenges remain. This is one of them. Such activity has an overall negative effect on our State economy and should not be tolerated.”
The legislation calls for the establishment of a graduated penalty system against any employer who knowingly employs illegal aliens. A first offense carries a $10,000 fine for each illegal alien and three years of monitored probation. During the probationary period the employer is required to file quarterly reports with the county prosecutor, which must include documentation of the E-verify confirmation of each new employee who is hired by the employer at the location where the illegal alien performed work.
The penalty for a second offense is $20,000 fine for each illegal alien and an additional five years of monitored probation while a third offense will result in a $30,000 fine for each illegal alien employed.