URGING SUPPORT FOR THE STEARNS-BLACKBURN AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - July 26, 2007)
Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the concerns of many of our small businesses in the Seventh District of Tennessee. The ongoing debate over illegal immigration has brought many issues to light. While this issue is trudging its way through Congress, small businesses are stuck trying to figure out how to confront the problems of illegal immigration that are created at the local level.
For instance, these businesses should have the right to refuse to hire or fire a person who cannot speak English. An employer who signs the paycheck and pays payroll taxes, and their customers, should be able to communicate with an employee. But under current law that small businessman can be sued by the Federal Government for refusing to hire or in some cases firing a person who cannot communicate in English. As ridiculous as this sounds, it is true.
That is why today I will offer a commonsense amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State approps bill that will close the ridiculous loophole and offer some protection to the businesses that drive our economy and employ our citizens.
I urge all of my colleagues to join this effort to protect our mom-and-pop businesses, not because it is a hard line against illegal immigration, but because it is the right thing to do.