Republican lawmakers in New Jersey are picking up some support for a bill intended to discourage the employment of illegal immigrants in the state.
The measure would require employers in New Jersey to use the federal E-Verify electronic database to check on new hires to make sure that they’re legal residents.
“All we’re saying is if you want to hire folks and in particular if you’re using taxpayer dollars and we’re paying with taxpayers’ money prevailing wage, then a legal resident of the United States should be receiving those wages,” said Assemblyman Gary Chiusano.
Under the legislation, employers who fail to use the E-Verify system could face fines of tens of thousands of dollars.
Gayle Kesselman, of New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control, said Thursday employing illegal immigrants pushes down wages for other workers.
“If New Jersey does not act, we will, in coming years, have an even greater number of illegal immigrants coming to our state leading to even more joblessness for our own citizens and even a higher tax burden for our taxpayers,” Kesselman said.
Democrats, who control the New Jersey Legislature, have not expressed support for the bill.