DAVID M. DRUCKER
Washington Examiner 
Aug 22, 2013
Would it be cheaper for U.S. companies to hire newly legalized immigrants instead of Americans, as immigration-reform  legislation pending in Congress would allow? This being Washington, the answer is both “yes” and “not exactly.”
Two months after the Senate approved a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. immigration system, confusion reigns over whether the reforms — combined with changes wrought by Obamacare  — give immigrants an edge over U.S. citizens in the job market. It’s a potential political landmine for immigration-reform supporters, though congressional policy aides and a Congressional Research Service report obtained by the Washington Examiner suggest that the problem may not be as great as many fear.
If Congress approves a Senate bill that creates a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, those immigrants would be granted legal status as “Registered Provisional Immigrants.” They would be legal but barred from collecting health care  benefits available under Obamacare. And because the Affordable Care Act also requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health benefits at a capped price, it could be cheaper for those companies to hire newly legalized immigrants rather than citizens who are eligible for Obamacare benefits.