Obamacare quirk promotes migrant hiring over U.S. citizens


SQUEEZING: President Obama’s order on immigration further squeezes U.S. citizens in the job market.

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Illegal immigrants made legal by President Obama’s executive order can move to the head of the hiring line because they’re exempt from the $3,000 Obamacare penalty that applies to U.S. citizens.

“Businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare,” the Washington Times reported.

The quirk is that the president’s immigration order, while declaring up to 5 million illegal immigrants eligible for work permits, deems them ineligible for public benefits, such as Obamacare.

“That means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover,” the Times stated.

The Obamacare quirk, confirmed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and called a “perverse loophole” by the London Daily Mail, raised the hackles of Republican lawmakers.

“I can’t help but wonder if the president or his team noticed this conflict ahead of time, or if they failed — as usual — to notice yet another Obamacare problem in advance,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith said, “The president’s actions just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”

Under the Obamacare law, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide employee health coverage or pay a $3,000 fine.

While Obama’s immigration order effectively expanded the pool of eligible workers, America’s labor participation rate — the percentage of able-bodied working-age adults with jobs — is at a 36-year low.

Kenric Ward is a national correspondent for Watchdog.org and chief of its Virginia Bureau. Contact him at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward