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Fri Jun 14, 2019, 07:40 AM

Unions, immigration advocates divided over expanding work status checks to construction industry

In the era of President Donald Trump, a labor-backed bill that might have attracted wide, bipartisan support just a few years ago is driving a wedge between two segments of organized labor: the traditionally more conservative building trades and their progressive colleagues.

That divide is also manifesting itself in the General Assembly.

The legislation — introduced by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-Lehigh, with bipartisan cosponsors, and supported by the unions that represent Pennsylvania’s carpenters, roofers, bricklayers, and other construction workers — would mandate all building contractors run new hires through the federal E-Verify system.

If a construction company continues to hire unauthorized workers, the state Department of Labor and Industry could investigate following a tip. If true, any unverified employees must be fired.

Created in the 1980s, E-Verify is an electronic way for employers to check the immigration status of perspective employees by running their name or social security number through a federal database.

Read more: https://www.penncapital-star.com/working-the-economy/unions-immigration-advocates-divided-over-expanding-citizenship-checks-to-construction-industry/

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