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New Michigan House bill would punish undocumented immigrant workers

February 24, 2017

logoOn January 31st, House Bill 4130 was introduced, a piece of legislation that is seen by the immigrant community as another attack against those who are most vulnerable. 

HB 4130, “would require public employers to verify the legal residency of employees to determine eligibility for employment through “E-Verify”. Currently, the E-Verify program is a largely voluntary program that allows employers to verify employment eligibility with the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. This bill would make it a felony in Michigan to make a false statement about one’s work authorization, punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen years.”

This is according to an recent campaign to defeat the legislation, a campaign that includes a simple mechanism for people to contact their state legislators

The person who took the lead on introducing this bill, is Rep. Jim Runestad, who represents the 44th District in Michigan. Runestad has also recently come out against refugee resettlement in Michigan, thus demonstrating his opposition to immigrants and refugees, much like the current administration. 

Runestad is primarily a self-financed candidate, but he also has received funds from various Political Action Committees like the Michigan Association of Realtors and Auto Dealers of Michigan.

Joining Runestad in this most recent legislative proposal to punish immigrant workers are Representatives Hank Vaupel, Tim Kelly and Peter Lucido. By clicking on their names you can get campaign finance information.

It is interesting to note that Hank Vaupel received $8,250 from the Michigan Farm Bureau PAC, which represents the agribusiness sector, a sector that relies heavily on migrant farmworkers. The question to ask them is, “who is going to do the pick crops in Michigan, under awful conditions and for little pay, if the politicians want to punish those who are undocumented?”

Again, the link to the online campaign to voice your opposition to this bill is here. However, much more will be needed to stand in solidarity with immigrant workers.

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