TX Bill Targets Employers of Illegal Immigrants

April 27, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Legislators in Texas proposed an amendment to a business tax bill that would penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants and pay them substandard wages.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the proposal suggests those employers help pay for public services for those workers and their families by losing tax breaks that businesses usually get.

In addition, a separate amendment, attacking retail giant, Wal-Mart, was also introduced. According to the news report, the amendment would require the retailer to report annually how many employees or their family members draw health coverage from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“We want to make sure … the largest retailer in the United States is pulling its fair share of the weight,” said Representative Joaquin Castro, who wrote the amendment, in the news report.

Linda Elledge, Wal-Mart’s senior manager for public affairs in Texas, said the amendment unfairly singles out one employer “If you do a data collection bill, we’d like to see it done on a fair basis,” she said.

The state’s largest business group, the Texas Association of Business, said it will ask the Senate to remove Castro’s Wal-Mart provision because it could lead to a state mandate that employers provide health coverage to their workers.

Association President Bill Hammond also said the immigration provision was unnecessary. “Our members do not hire undocumented workers,” he said.