Work Permit Program Proposed

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 29, 2007

Republican Rick Keene’s proposal would require non-citizens to apply for a one-time only, 3-year, state work permit.  An application fee – estimated at one-thousand dollars – would pay for the program.  Keene says undocumented workers are a burden on state systems and a security risk – and Congress hasn’t acted quickly enough:

“Nobody expects the federal government because of the presidential battles going on - for the federal government to do anything for the next few years – we can’t wait."

His program would include a hotline for employers to verify a worker’s eligibility, and hefty fines for violations.  United Farm Workers spokesman Mark Grossman calls the bill insulting and impractical.

 “Undocumented farm workers take jobs other American workers won’t take for pay other American workers won’t accept and other conditions other American workers won’t tolerate.”

Some lawmakers have questioned what jurisdiction the state has when immigration is a federal issue.

(Bill number is AB 735)