Lawmaker: Prove workers' status, or lose license

A freshman Suffolk legislator proposed a bill Thursday aimed at forcing contractors to prove their workers are legal. "It says you may only hire people eligible to work under federal law," says Brian

News 12 Staff

Feb 1, 2008, 12:48 AM

Updated 6,019 days ago

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A freshman Suffolk legislator proposed a bill Thursday aimed at forcing contractors to prove their workers are legal.
"It says you may only hire people eligible to work under federal law," says Brian Beedenbender (D-Centereach). "That's what this bill says. The attempt to take it in any other direction is inappropriate."
Contractors who violate the rule under the proposal could lose their licenses.Trade union leaders support Beedenbender's measure, saying it would even the playing field when it comes to competing for contracts.
Critics, such as the Rev. Alan Ramirez, believe the legislation is wrong. "This shows not only his intolerance, but his bigotry and outright racism," Ramirez says. He told the lawmaker he ought to be ashamed of himself.
Business leaders agree that if the law is passed, it should target all industries, not just construction. However, they say that's unlikely to happen.
"You may be angry about the fact that they're here, but the labor they provide, we have to have," says Matthew Crosson, of the Long Island Association."
Public hearings on the bill are scheduled for March. The Suffolk Department of Consumer Affairs would enforce the measure, if approved.


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