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Texas Construction CEO on Fox News Channel: Trump Can be Both Smart and Tough on Immigration

During a nationally televised report on Fox News Channel, a prominent Texas construction executive said President-elect Donald Trump has a chance to be both tough and smart on border security and immigration.

Stan Marek, President and CEO of the Marek Family of Companies, said the President-elect needs to enact immigration reform that identifies and taxes those who are illegally in the country. But that does not meant Trump would be somehow softening his position on border security, Marek said.

Instead, Marek insists that the best border security happens at the job site.

That increased security would be accomplished by issuing tamper-proof ID’s only to workers who are authorized to be in the United States. Legal status should only be offered to an undocumented person if they have been in the country for at least three years, have never committed a felony, and can pass a background check to prove they are not criminals, Marek said.

Marek also said workers who receive that tamper-proof ID should be entered into the E-Verify system. The key, Marek said, is that those workers must be employed by companies that pay and match payroll taxes and provide workers’ compensation insurance.

If a tamper-proof ID is what’s used to verify a person’s status for employment, illegal immigration will be greatly diminished, Marek said. That’s because people who are coming to the United States to find jobs will not risk the dangerous and often fatal trip if they know they won’t be able to find employment when they arrive.

Unless those changes are made, too many companies will continue to skirt the law by paying their workers in cash, abusing undocumented immigrants while driving down wages for American-born workers. “Companies like mine cannot invest in a labor force unless we level the playing field,” Marek told Fox News Channel reporter Casey Stegall.

Companies that misclassify their workers and pay them in cash should be punished for doing so, Marek said.

As Construction Citizen has reported many times, misclassification happens when companies pretend their workers are independent subcontractors when, by law, they should be paid as employees. There are, of course, many legitimate uses of contract labor. The problem arises when unscrupulous employers do this to avoid paying payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and workers’ compensation insurance; and are therefore able to submit lower bids for projects, undercutting responsible contractors.

Any immigration reform enacted under Trump must address that problem or we will be back to square one, Marek said.

You can watch the Fox News Channel’s report on border security and immigration with the following link:

The First 100 Days: Trump's immigration agenda