While Republican lawmakers have already expressed concern that President Obama’s executive amnesty will have a negative impact on unemployed Americans, The Washington Times is highlighting another aspect of Obama’s actions that will make competing with amnestied illegal immigrants for jobs that much more of an uphill climb.
Nearly five million illegal immigrants will be eligible for legal status and work permits under President Obama’s amnesty. They are not, however, currently eligible for Obamacare.
According to the Washington Times, because the amnestied illegals are exempt from Obamacare, employers who decide to hire them will not have to pay the $3,000 annual penalty for each employee who goes on the Obamacare exchange and receives a subsidy.
“Under Obamacare, businesses with 50 or more employees are supposed to provide insurance coverage to their full-time workers,” The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan reports. “If they refuse, they are assessed a penalty for every employee who receives subsidies to sign up for coverage on the health exchanges. But because the newly legalized illegal immigrants covered by Mr. Obama’s order can’t sign up for the exchanges or receive subsidies, employers aren’t penalized for hiring them.”
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) expressed frustration about the possibility that Americans could be further harmed by the pairing of Obamacare and Obama’s amnesty.
“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,” Smith told the Washington Times. “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.”
Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) on Fox News Tuesday morning called the loophole another “unintended consequence” of Obamacare and another reason to follow the Constitution.
“Now we have a situation where we have an incentive for employers to hire these folks that are here illegally because they won’t have to pay the penalty,” Messer said.
Republicans still have not enumerated their plans to combat Obama’s executive action but say they are working on a response.