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Reclaim American Jobs Caucus: Obama Labor Secretary Should Help Jobless Americans

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The Congressional Reclaim American Jobs Caucus reacted today to a video message from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in which she says, "Every worker in America has a right to be paid fairly, whether documented or not..." The video message includes the phone number for a taxpayer-funded and government operated confidential hotline at the Labor Department.

Representatives Lamar Smith (TX-21), Sue Myrick (NC-09) and Gary Miller (CA-42), the co-chairs of the Congressional Reclaim American Jobs Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the video:

"The Obama administration has failed to create jobs. They've spent more than a trillion dollars on so-called "jobs' and stimulus legislation, but unemployment is still at 9.7 percent.

"Now, the Obama administration is campaigning for illegal immigrants! And, when illegal immigrants call the government hotline, the Obama administration will give them safe harbor while they use American tax dollars to pursue their claims.

"The Supreme Court, in the case of Hoffman Plastic Compounds vs. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), determined that the NLRB could not force the company to pay backpay to an illegal immigrant since that remedy conflicted with other federal law.

"The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) prohibits the knowing employment of illegal immigrants and requires new employees to provide documents to employers proving their identity and legal authority to work. The Court ruled that: "…awarding backpay to illegal aliens runs counter to policies underlying IRCA, policies the Board has no authority to enforce or administer. . . . [A]warding backpay in a case like this not only trivializes the immigration laws, it also condones and encourages future violations.'

"The Obama administration has it backwards. They have all but abandoned worksite enforcement efforts. Through April, administrative arrests are down 80 percent, criminal arrests are down 68 percent, the number of criminal indictments is down 74 percent and convictions are down 75 percent since 2008.

"What an insult to the millions of unemployed citizen and legal immigrant workers who need those jobs held by millions of illegal immigrants!"

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