At the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama offered employers a $3,000 incentive to hire undocumented immigrants instead of U.S. citizens when he signed his controversial amnesty executive action granting an estimated five million illegal aliens legal status.
Although thise immigrants will be granted three-year work permits, they will nonetheless be denied benefits under the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which is set to be implemented in 2015, according to The Washington Times, which reported:
Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.
The loophole was confirmed by congressional aides and drew condemnation from those who said it put illegal immigrants ahead of Americans in the job market.
“If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”
The Times continued:
A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that the newly legalized immigrants won’t have access to Obamacare, which opens up the loophole for employers looking to avoid the penalty.
The Health and Human Services Department, which oversees Obamacare, referred questions to the White House, which didn’t reply to a request for comment.
In an address Tuesday night in Chicago, Obama claimed that his executive action would be a boost to the economy.
“Immigrants are good for the economy,” he said. “We keep on hearing that they’re bad, but a report by my Council of Economic Advisers put out last week shows how the actions we’re taking will grow our economy for everybody.”
Republican lawmakers, however, predicted that his order granting undocumented immigrants legal status and work permits would be disastrous to the U.S. workforce and to the economy.
“His order will grant them social security numbers, government-issued ID’s, legal status and work permits,” U.S. Sen Jeff Sessions (R-Al.) said in a USA Today editorial. “Illegal immigrants will now be able to take jobs and benefits directly from struggling Americans in a time of high unemployment and low wages. They will be able to take jobs from Americans in all occupations, ranging from truck drivers to power company workers to jobs with city government.”
And now, it appears, employers will actually be rewarded to hire those five million undocumented workers.