Steve King and 11 Congressmen Call to Cut Illegal Alien Employer Tax Benefits

New York's Lower East Side, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012. Younger illegal aliens gather to get a work permit under a new government program.
AP Photo/Richard Drew

Rep. Steve King and 11 of his House colleagues are calling on the Ways and Means Committee to include King’s “New IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act)” in the Republican tax reform plan for an estimated $254 billion increase in tax revenue over the next decade.

On Monday, King sent a letter to House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady petitioning him to include HR 176, the New IDEA Act, in HR 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. King and eleven of his fellow members of Congress signed the letter.

“The New IDEA Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to make it unlawful for employers to deduct wages and benefits paid to and on behalf of an illegal alien,” reads a portion of the letter. “It would also make permanent the E-Verify program for verifying the employment eligibility of alien workers.”

King’s letter calls inclusion of HR 176 in the tax reform plan “the right action for the American taxpayer.” He also includes an estimate from the Center for Immigration Studies that this would “increase federal tax revenues by approximately $25.4 billion per year” for a total of $254 billion over ten years. He writes that the figure will pay for “any increase in the deficit over the limit set by reconciliation.”

King argued that inclusion of this “commonsense” legislation would help sell the bill on the merit that it relieves some of America’s fiscal challenges.

Co-signers of King’s letter are Reps. Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Mo Brooks (AL), Matt Gaetz (FL), Andy Biggs (AZ), Randy Weber (TX), Lou Barletta (PA), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Duncan Hunter (CA), and Brian Babin (TX).

King originally released the bill in February 2015, describing the driver behind the Act. If wages and benefits paid to illegal alien workers are not deductible by the employer, the incentive to hire cheap labor is diminished. The congressman provided an example of how this plays out — if an employer is paying an illegal alien worker $10 an hour but then cannot deduct that cost from his or her federal taxes, the worker would cost around $16 an hour.

GOP leadership has seemed apprehensive to pass legislation tough on certain areas of illegal immigration. In late October, Senate Republican leadership working on legislation addressing DACA illegal aliens have “all but ruled out including a mandatory workplace verification system known as E-Verify in a final DACA agreement,” lawmakers involved in the talks tell Politico. Mandatory E-Verify is among the Trump administration’s immigration priorities.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.