Boehner Votes "No" on Immigration Bill Due to Excessive Government Mandates on Private Sector
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) last night voted against an illegal immigration bill he described as "well-intentioned but fatally flawed." Boehner praised provisions in the bill that would strengthen America's border security and curb illegal immigration, but strongly criticized a section that would impose a massive new government mandate on private sector employers by creating a complex new federal database to track workers inside the United States.
"We can't strengthen our nation's borders by strangling our nation's economy," Boehner said. "This bill has many strong points and I wanted badly to vote for it. But the massive employer mandates included in the bill ultimately made that impossible."
"We need to get serious about border protection. After September 11th, tolerating violations of our immigration policies is no longer an option," said Boehner. "But under the guise of securing our borders, this bill gives the federal government authority to sign-off on every hiring decision in the country. Federal bureaucrats will have Americans' personal information at the touch of a button. This has Big Brother' written all over it."
Boehner, along with fellow GOP Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Chris Cannon (R-UT), unsuccessfully attempted to offer an amendment that would have revised the flawed section of the bill while keeping the bill's strong border security provisions intact.
H.R. 4437 extends an "employment eligibility" pilot program created in 1996 to all employers. American employers will be required to verify the employment eligibility of ALL workers - more than 140 million - through a federal database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.
In the 104th Congress, Boehner supported an amendment to H.R. 2202 that would have prohibited the creation of the employment eligibility database. He has also actively fought against similar efforts to create a national database tracking America's college students.
"The vast majority of America's several million employers are law abiding and should not be burdened with another cumbersome federal mandate," added Boehner. "Forcing them each to REVERIFY the work authorization of ALL previously hired employees is impractical, unfair, and does little to combat the illegal immigration HR 4437 intends to address."
Boehner represents Ohio's Eighth Congressional District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.