Burns pressures Wolf to sign E-verify into law

Move would protect PA jobs by halting hiring of undocumented workers

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – Continuing his efforts to stand up for Pennsylvania workers and jobs, state Rep. Frank Burns said that Gov. Tom Wolf should do the same by signing a bill that would expand the mandatory use of E-Verify to employers in the construction industry.

Burns, D-Cambria, said H.B. 1170, which passed in the House and the Senate with bipartisan support, would require construction companies to use the internet-based system to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

“As someone who always fights for workers, this bill is about saving Pennsylvania jobs by penalizing unscrupulous contractors who hire and exploit illegal workers for profit,” Burns said. “If the governor really wants to take a stand and protect jobs and workers from employers who’d rather break the law, he should sign the bill, instead of waiting for it to automatically become law on Sunday, October 6.”

In Pennsylvania, a bill that has passed in both chambers of the General Assembly automatically becomes law if a governor neither vetoes nor signs a bill within 10 days of its passage.

“We know that E-verify works and has worked successfully for years. When these contractors hire undocumented workers, they are likely skirting payroll and required taxes. Construction companies – just like other employers – must follow the rules, or face the music, which can include the loss of their state-issued license. This is a commonsense bill to protect all Pennsylvania workers, and it should be signed by the governor.”

The E-verify program is managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In Pennsylvania, more than 17,000 employers have verified more than 630,000 newly hired workers this year.