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Obamacare, immigration reform may make immigrants cheaper to hire than citizens

DAVID M. DRUCKER 
Washington Examiner [1]
Aug 22, 2013

Would it be cheaper for U.S. companies to hire newly legalized immigrants instead of Americans, as immigration-reform [2] 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 [3] — 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 [4] 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.

Full article here [1]