For Immediate Release - February 23, 2007

GOVERNOR PATRICK PROHIBITS USE OF UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS ON STATE CONTRACTS

Violations range from fines to termination of contracts

BOSTON- Friday, February 23, 2007 - Governor Deval Patrick today issued an executive order prohibiting the use of undocumented immigrants in connection with the performance of state contracts. Contractors caught using undocumented workers on state contracts would face fines and termination of their contracts, among other potential penalties.

"I understand how most undocumented immigrants enter Massachusetts seeking opportunities, jobs and a better way of life, and I support balanced immigration reform," Governor Patrick said. "But undocumented workers cannot work on state contracts, and we must enforce that law."

Federal and state laws already prohibit employers from hiring immigrant workers who are not either permanent residents of the United States or legally permitted to work under a work visa. Federal immigration law also provides a comprehensive framework for employers to follow in verifying the immigration status of all job applicants without engaging in unlawful discrimination. However, some employers still unlawfully misclassify undocumented workers as self-employed or independent contractors to avoid the costs of Social Security taxes, healthcare, pensions, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and other benefits.

Today's executive order will require contractors to certify they will not knowingly use undocumented workers in connection with fulfilling their state contracts; to verify the immigration status of all workers assigned to the contract without engaging in unlawful discrimination; and to not alter, falsify or accept altered or falsified documents from their workers.

Any breach of these terms will subject contractors to sanctions, including but not limited to monetary penalties, withholding of payment, suspension or termination of the contract. The executive order is effective immediately.
 

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