For Immediate Release: July 7, 2006
Contact: James Thompson
IMMIGRATION BILL SPONSORED BY ANGIE PACCIONE PASSES HOUSE
House Bill 1017 holds lawbreaking employers accountable.
DENVER—A house bill sponsored by Rep. Judy Solano and Rep. Angie Paccione that helps prevent illegal hiring passed the House today on a 53-11 vote.
HB-1017 contains a number of provisions to hold employers accountable for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.
Among other measures, the bill will help strengthen federal law by requiring employers to make and keep copies of documents submitted along with the I-9 form for employment eligibility. It also will fine employers who fail to submit the documents or who knowingly submit false documents. The bill proposes fines of $5,000 for the first offense and $25,000 for further offenses.
“Illegal immigrants come here because they know they’ll get hired. This bill will help put a stop to that,” Paccione said “We as a state are doing our part to help enforce federal law and get tough on illegal hiring practices.”
HB-1017 also requires the Colorado Division of Labor to conduct random audits, at which time employers must submit their records. In addition, on receipt of a credible complaint the Director of the Division of Labor must request and review the documents from the employer. If the employer fails to submit the requested records, a fine will be imposed.
Yesterday, Paccione added a whistleblower protection amendment for those who make credible complaints.
“We have to make sure that people who help stop illegal hiring are not subject to retaliation by their employers,” Paccione said.
HB-1017 now goes to the Senate.
“We’re going above and beyond the requirements of federal law in order to crack down on illegal hiring,” Paccione said. “If the federal government won’t get tough on lawbreakers, Colorado will.”