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house Bill H.R. 109

If You've Ever Been in the U.S. Illegally, Should You be Barred From Getting a Work Authorization?

Argument in favor

This bill would incentivize immigrants to go through the proper legal channels if they want to work in the U.S. If they can't follow the rules, then they shouldn't be able to work here and fill jobs that would otherwise go to Americans.

Devan's Opinion
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01/26/2019
If you don’t want to be punished, don’t break the law.
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Thomas's Opinion
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01/26/2019
Work permits are for honest legal immigrants who came into our country the correct way. Not for sneaky cowards who entered illegally.
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01/27/2019
Yes. Come here legally. As a moderate democrat, I’m tired of having to say “I don’t support open borders.” Reasonable border security shouldn’t be a republican or Democrat issue. Telling people, that are here illegally, that they can’t work until they resolve their legal status is reasonable.
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Argument opposed

Immigrants don’t put Americans’ jobs at risk. This bill, like all anti-immigrant rhetoric, is a tried-and-true scare tactic by the powers-that-be to make the working class blame immigrants for their ails instead of the powers-that-be.

Ingrid's Opinion
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01/26/2019
In a word: ridiculous. If you read the details, this is a non-sensical solution to a non-issue. Immigrants are not “stealing American jobs” in huge numbers. Work permits are just that: permits to work. Many times (if not most of the time), these are permits to do work that citizens are not clamoring to do - like picking crops in the fields with long hours for low pay - or for which specialized training is needed that a particular foreign national has, and no one here as a citizen has applied for or is equally qualified for.
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Karen's Opinion
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01/26/2019
Wanting to live in the “Land of the Free” should not be a crime. After all, the symbol of our freedom is embossed with a plaque that says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” I think it clearly demonstrates the generosity that America was founded on, and the values she should retain.
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Tinee's Opinion
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01/26/2019
Donald Trump must really hate his own family history. If this law was in effect Donald Trump would not have the real estate empire his father left him. Donald Trump & his administration are trying to close a door his own family used to come to the USA. Fredrick Trump illegally immigrated to the USA because he didn't do military service in his home country. Fredrick was issued a Royal decree to leave.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 109?

In the name of  keeping U.S. jobs for people born in the U.S. — this bill would bar anyone that has ever been in the country illegally from using legal channels to secure a work authorization.

That’s it: if a person was in the U.S. without government approval, they can’t get authorization to work here. Well, ok, the bill specifies that it must be determined — in a valid immigration proceeding — that a person was illegally present in the United States. This would be at a hearing to see if they should get the work authorization. But it’s a short bill.

Impact

Undocumented immigrants in the country, people that want to immigrate to the U.S., American-born workers, employers that use alien resident worker programs, U.S. Border Patrol, related federal agencies, and the U.S. economy.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 109

A CBO estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) reintroduced this bill, which he also sponsored in the 115th and 114th Congresses, to prohibit the Dept. of Homeland Security from granting work authorizations to immigrants who'd been unlawfully present in the U.S. in the past.

This bill has no cosponsors in the current Congress. In the 115th Congress, it had the support of two cosponsors, both of whom were Republicans.

Of NoteThey took our jobs!” is a rallying cry against immigration. But how true is it? According to labor union SEIU, immigrants take jobs that native-born Americans leave behind as they find higher levels of education. They also start businesses and buy American-made goods, boosting the economy. The real problem, they argue, is that big business takes advantage of the steady stream of undocumented workers it gets from abroad to make a profit.

There’s also an issue of agency here. A lot of undocumented immigrants were brought to the U.S. as kids — they didn’t really have a choice in the matter. About 1.4 percent of all kids in K-12 schools are undocumented immigrants. That’s about five million kids who would be banned from work visas under this law.

David Frum at The Atlantic argues that most of the jobs created since the recession have gone to immigrants.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / brazzo)

AKA

Equal Protection for American Workers Act

Official Title

To prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from granting a work authorization to an alien found to have been unlawfully present in the United States.

    If you don’t want to be punished, don’t break the law.
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    In a word: ridiculous. If you read the details, this is a non-sensical solution to a non-issue. Immigrants are not “stealing American jobs” in huge numbers. Work permits are just that: permits to work. Many times (if not most of the time), these are permits to do work that citizens are not clamoring to do - like picking crops in the fields with long hours for low pay - or for which specialized training is needed that a particular foreign national has, and no one here as a citizen has applied for or is equally qualified for.
    Like (286)
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    Wanting to live in the “Land of the Free” should not be a crime. After all, the symbol of our freedom is embossed with a plaque that says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” I think it clearly demonstrates the generosity that America was founded on, and the values she should retain.
    Like (119)
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    Donald Trump must really hate his own family history. If this law was in effect Donald Trump would not have the real estate empire his father left him. Donald Trump & his administration are trying to close a door his own family used to come to the USA. Fredrick Trump illegally immigrated to the USA because he didn't do military service in his home country. Fredrick was issued a Royal decree to leave.
    Like (88)
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    All the problems we have in the U.S have NOTHING to do with immigrants. They’re just convenient scapegoats for frustrated and unhappy people. If we closed every border and isolated the U.S completely, they’d still be frustrated and unhappy. It’s so much easier to blame other people than look inward and take stock of ones own shortcomings and make tough changes.
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    Work permits are for honest legal immigrants who came into our country the correct way. Not for sneaky cowards who entered illegally.
    Like (54)
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    Just because you broke the law once by entering our country illegally that shouldn't exclude you from getting a job in the U.S. legally. There are more than enough job openings available for immigrants and U.S. citizens. This is just another xenophobic bill from the Nationalist (former GOP) Party.
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    Yes. Come here legally. As a moderate democrat, I’m tired of having to say “I don’t support open borders.” Reasonable border security shouldn’t be a republican or Democrat issue. Telling people, that are here illegally, that they can’t work until they resolve their legal status is reasonable.
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    This bill addresses a non-issue in a way clearly designed to feed into this administration's anti-immigrant agenda. I've spent my whole life in Texas. Immigrants here work in difficult manual-labor jobs like factory farms that Americans don't want or wouldn't do for so little pay. They are not a threat. They do not steal jobs from citizens. They are not to blame for any of the problems in my life. I am tired of the government treating my friends and neighbors like a lower class of people.
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    This bill is a racist tactic, used to support #45’s hate-filled rhetoric. Immigrants do not take jobs from Americans. The jobs that immigrants do, are the jobs Americans deem too lowly for themselves. Immigrants travel as Nomads across the US, going where agricultural jobs are open. Jobs as pickers, where they perform back breaking work, hunched over, from sun up to sunset. Once that particular harvest season is over, the move on to the next harvest season. Or they may hire on as laborers on farms, in construction, etc. These jobs are not ‘stolen’. Frankly, passing this bill would continue this administration’s goal of turning back our country’s legislation 50 years!
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    The reason they can get a job is because most Americans feel it is beneath them to engage in basic manual labor. Simple supply and demand economics. If US citizens absorbed all the labor necessary to sustain our way of life then immigrants would not seek to enter our country. It is a myth that immigrants, legal or illegal, “take” jobs from hard working Americans. Most “hard working” Americans refuse to migrate to were labor is needed, thus opening up the work for those who are willing to go wherever the jobs are.
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    The problem with our economy is people like Trump not paying their fair share and putting profit before citizens.
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    For illegal immigrants to receive jobs in the US is a promotion of illegal behavior it is completely insupportable. However, it is without a doubt an ethical issue, especially in regard to children brought here illegally without a say in the matter. The solution, in regard to those already here I have not come to a conclusion about, but I do know one thing! The border must be secured if there are to be any steps made to prevent illegal immigrants from getting jobs here!
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    Though this sounds rational and for the “public’s good”, it is another form of blatant discrimination. Most jobs taken by immigrants, legal or otherwise, are jobs shunned by American workers. See these kinds of bills for what they are: a smoke screen for xenophobia.
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    What a stupid bill! So if you’ve ever been in the U.S. illegally, but now you want to go through the proper channels, this kind of law won’t allow you to work. Way to incentivize people who may have been undocumented at one point to never want to come back to the country legally! Also, how about children who were brought to this country illegally? Will they never be able to work now? What an absurd proposal!
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    Another racist xenophobic idea. No. Human beings make mistakes and not every individual knows every law ever written, especially in a second country. It’s time for us to give up useless cruelty and turn to caring for and about each other.
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    I do think that if you've ever hired someone illegally you should be penalized. I don't blame those who want to work but I do blame those that manipulate the system and use scare tacticts to maintain low pay no benefits labor force.
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    House Bill 109 AKA the Follow Immigration Rules To Work Act I’m in strong support in the passage of this House bill H.R. 109 AKA the Follow Immigration Rules To Work Act which would incentivize immigrants in going through the proper legal channels if they want to work in the U.S. To prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from granting a work authorization to an alien found to have been unlawfully present in the United States. If they can't follow the rules, then they shouldn't be able to work here and fill jobs that would otherwise go to Americans. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 1*27*19..........
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    I’m against rewarding bad behavior in any form. Deport them all who have broken our laws and disrespected our kindness and charity. #MAGA #BuildTheWall
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    Yes of course, we can’t reward law breakers.
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