While questioning Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on the impact of President Obama's executive amnesty, Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) inquired about how granting amnesty and work permits to 5 million illegal aliens would affect the American worker.
In a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Barletta made the argument that allowing millions of illegal aliens to obtain work permits, the competition for already scarce jobs would increase. He also pointed out that because illegal aliens were ineligible for Obamacare, they would be cheaper and more attractive candidates to employers than American workers.
“Some people say that our economic security is national security,” Representative Barletta said to Secretary Johnson. “Nearly 20 million Americans woke up this morning either unemployed or underemployed. The president didn’t mention these Americans when he announced his plan to grant de facto amnesty and work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants.”
Representative Barletta continued by noting that American workers have, for the most part, been left out of the conversation on executive amnesty.
“But how does that make it easier for the American worker?” Representative Barletta asked. “We keep talking about the illegal immigrant. Here we go again, talking about the illegal immigrant and how we can make it easier for them. How does this help the American worker who can’t find work and can’t provide for his family? Who’s fighting for them? Why don’t we talk about the American worker and what this will do to them, not what it will do for the illegal immigrant?”
Secretary Johnson claimed that granting work permits to millions of illegal aliens would not impact the nearly 20 million Americans who want a full time job, but cannot find one.
“The question of U.S. jobs, American jobs, is, in my view, a separate issue,” Secretary Johnson said.
“So adding 5 million more competitors for these jobs will make it easier?” Representative Barletta asked.
“The estimate is that the potential class is up to 4 million,” Secretary Johnson replied. “Not all of those will apply. The goal is to encourage these people, who are now working off the books (and we do have undocumented immigrants in this country working off the books), to get on the books, pay taxes into the federal treasury pursuant to a work authorization. The assessment is that that will not impinge upon American jobs with American workers.”
Representative Barletta then turned to the fact that because illegal aliens granted amnesty under President Obama's plan would not qualify for Obamacare, They would be more attractive candidates for employers to hire over American workers who would have to be insured.
“Mr. Secretary, is it true that the illegal immigrants who are granted amnesty will not need to comply with the Affordable Care Act?” Representative Barletta asked.
“Those who are candidates for and are accepted into the Deferred Action program will not be eligible for comprehensive health care,” Secretary Johnson agreed.
“So, therefore an employer may have a decision to make: do I keep the American worker and provide health insurance or pay a $3,000 fine, or do I get rid of the American worker and hire someone who I do not have to provide health insurance and I won’t get fined?” Representative Barletta asked. “Is that a possibility?”
“I don’t see it that way,” Secretary Johnson said.
“You don’t think any employers will see it that way?” Representative Barletta asked.
“I don’t think I see it that way,” Johnson replied.
Watch Representative Barletta's line of questioning on YouTube
Updated: Wed, Dec 17th 2014 @ 11:45am EST