For Immediate Release: September 1, 2006
Contact: James Thompson
Musgrave Grants Amnesty to Employers Who Hire Illegally
In return for cash contributions from special interests, Musgrave encourages illegal hiring.
LOVELAND—In exchange for campaign cash from special interests who have been known to employ illegal workers, Marilyn Musgrave has voted to weaken enforcement of laws that prohibit corporations from hiring illegally.
In December, Musgrave voted to limit monetary penalties imposed on businesses for illegally hiring or employing undocumented workers (HR 4437, Vote #657, 12/16/05). She also voted against increasing fines on businesses for illegal hiring, with proceeds to be shared with state and local governments to help cover the costs associated with providing services to undocumented immigrants (HR 4437, Vote #658, 12/16/05).
Even worse, Musgrave has voted to slash funding in half for border patrol and workplace enforcement to give her special-interest friends a steady flow of cheap, illegal labor.
The Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 authorized an additional 2,000 border patrol agents and 800 immigration enforcement agents per year for five years, but for FY2006 Musgrave voted to provide funding for only 1,000 border patrol agents and only 350 immigration enforcement agents. For FY2007, Musgrave supported a plan that falls short of specified levels by 800 border patrol agents and 500 immigration enforcement agents.
In addition, enforcement of laws that prohibit employers from hiring illegal immigrants has fallen by 99.4 percent, with the federal government fining only three employers in 2004, compared with 471 in 1999.
By ensuring that our laws against illegal immigration are not enforced, Musgrave essentially has given amnesty to the law-breaking corporations who keep her in power.
“Instead of making the taxpayers pay for these sham hearings on employers and illegal immigration, Marilyn should stop taking money from scofflaws, and stop voting to encourage illegal hiring,” said State Rep. Angie Paccione, Musgrave’s opponent in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District, of Friday’s congressional hearing in Loveland.
At the state level this past year, Paccione sponsored and cosponsored the most substantial immigration reform measures in the nation, including increased accountability for employers.
Musgrave, on the other hand, has hampered immigration enforcement and has received at least $11,000 from Cargill, ConAgra Foods, and Tyson Foods, all of which reportedly have broken the law and knowingly hired illegal workers. Musgrave actually paid official tribute to ConAgra on the House floor in November 2003.
Paccione said Musgrave should end her wink-and-nod agreement with scofflaw employers and push for real reform that will hold employers accountable.
“Marilyn supports lax enforcement so these special interests can hire illegal workers without real consequences,” Paccione said. “It’s a quid pro quo. Marilyn encourages illegal immigration while raking in campaign contributions from special interests. We need principled leadership, someone who will stand up to lawbreaking corporations.”