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Should Illegal Immigrants Qualify For Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Illegal immigrants. There is so much controversy surrounding illegal immigrants it is difficult to know where to start when examining these issues. While the chances of solving all the problems associated with illegal immigrants is unlikely in the short term, there are some Republican Representatives who wish to eliminate one of the issues currently the topic of debate.

As reported by KFBB.com, “Representative Gordon Vance’s (R- House District 76) House Bill 71 would prohibit illegal immigrant workers from collecting benefits when they are injured. Vance says his bill is a simple way to reduce the high costs to the workers compensation system, which sees the highest costs in the county.”

It is important to examine this issue not only for the safety of all workers but to also avoid eroding protection for certain groups. Whether you agree with Representative Vance or you feel all workers should be afforded the same protections, it remains important for all voices to be heard regarding this matter.

The immigration status of workers has long been a sore point for many individuals as well as business owners. Where some businesses do not mind hiring illegals as they can often save money while employing workers who rarely speak up against unfair practices; others want to remain within the bounds of the law in their hiring practices.

The important question to ask is whether or not a person’s immigration status should be used as a factor in determining eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. On one hand, supporters of House Bill 71 believe illegal immigrants should not be entitled to benefits which under the current law may be mailed to them even if they return to their home country. Those who are against House Bill 71 think it unfair to deny a worker who has been injured on the job benefits solely based on their immigration status. What happens next may be a crucial turning point in the workers’ compensation system in determining if certain groups are ineligible for benefits.

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