John Judis identifies a problem with the immigration bill denying Obamacare access to formerly undocumented immigrants – due to Obamacare’s employer mandate, “employers will be able to save from $2,000 to $3,000 a year by hiring a new immigrant over an American citizen”:
The bill’s denial of coverage doesn’t only give immigrants an advantage over citizens when it comes to new hires. It also gives larger businesses that employ immigrants a reason to drop insurance altogether. If they offer insurance to one employee, they need to offer it to all employees, including immigrants. But if they deny it to everyone, they’ll only pay fines for workers who are citizens.
Why this is a big issue:
As a Center for Immigration Studies report has shown, most jobs thought to be filled only by immigrants are, in fact, filled by a majority of native-born Americans. That includes 64 percent of grounds-maintenance workers, 66 percent of construction laborers, 73 percent of janitors, 51 percent of maids and housekeepers, and 63 percent of butchers and meat processors. Even on farms, the native-born constitute at least a third of the workforce. What seems to have misled people like [Lindsay] Graham is that many of the workers in these occupations are Hispanic—Graham has reported finding only “Hispanics” at some South Carolina workplaces—but Hispanic citizens make up a growing percentage of the American working class, and they too could lose employer health insurance because of immigration reform’s Obamacare loophole.