Iowa Congressman Steve King is introducing new legislation targeting illegal immigrants. King, a Republican from Kiron, is calling it "IDEA," or the Illegal Deduction Elimination Act. King says the bill would make wages and benefits paid to illegal immigrants non-deductible for federal tax purposes. In the long run, King says, hiring an illegal immigrant would be more expensive.
King says, "That ten-dollars an hour that you’ve expensed goes over to the profit column where it would be taxable and the IRS could then charge tax liability, plus interest, plus penalty." He says part of the problem is that government agencies in Washington D.C. are not on the same page.
"It requires that the IRS cooperate and coordinate with the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security," King says. "Those three government agencies don’t talk to each other right now." He says he doesn’t blame the city of Fremont, Nebraska, for taking action against illegal immigration. Last week, the town’s leaders voted down an amendment that would have banned the hiring, housing or harboring of illegal immigrants. King says the federal government has really dropped the ball on the issue.
King says, "So local governments have to take it in their own hands because we’re not functioning here at the federal level the way we should." King’s bill would also give employers a "safe harbor," of sorts. It encourages them to use the E-Verify program to confirm employment eligibility. If the information comes back on a worker that he or she is here legally and it turns out they are not, the employer will not be held liable. King says there are some 56 co-sponsors of the legislation.