A lawyer and former aide to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign are arguing that the new legislation allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States for years without facing deportation could increase the number of people who will be coming to Boston and the city’s workforce.
In an opinion piece published by Boston Legal Services, Matthew B. Sullivan and John M. Sperling argue that the legislation would increase the total number of workers in the city of Boston to roughly 4 million.
Sullivan has been a law clerk to Trump since 2007 and is now a partner at a firm in Boston.
Sperling, who also works at a law firm in Massachusetts, has been advising the Trump administration on immigration policy for nearly a year.
He is a former senior aide to Trump and has been an immigration lawyer for more than a decade.
He argued in the opinion piece that the bill would allow an increase in illegal immigrants in Boston, as well as a decrease in those already in the country, to cause a decline in the number seeking employment and thereby cause the unemployment rate to rise.
Sullivan argues that, in addition to potentially causing an increase of jobs in the Boston area, the new law would also result in an increase to illegal immigrants living in Boston from other states.
He writes that the two are “inconsistent with the stated purpose” of the legislation and that “the law would make Boston the second most highly-regulated city in the nation if passed.”
He writes that he has been advocating for changes to the immigration law for more, including a reduction in the time that employers have to verify immigration status, a reduction of the number who would be able to work in Boston if they are not legally authorized to work, and an increase on the number that would be allowed to work and be legally authorized.
The Boston Immigration Reform Lawsuit says the law “would make Boston, the second-most-regulated and most-regulated immigration city in America if passed”The authors argue that because the law will make Boston more highly regulated, “the government will have the resources and the power to enforce the law.”
They write that “this increase in the total workforce could make the city more expensive to run” and that if the city was to “fail to regulate immigration to the maximum extent, Boston would be the second city in Boston to fail to regulate illegal immigration.”
The authors say that the city would also be able “to reduce the amount of illegal immigration in the community” and to “ensure that illegal immigrants do not seek employment” as they are “unable to gain employment” in other areas because the city has “failing to enforce its immigration laws.”
They wrote that this could lead to a decrease of illegal immigrants from Boston and “further increase the unemployment of Boston.”
Sperlings response to the Boston Legal Service article states that the law would be a “massive expansion of government power,” and that it would “send a clear message to illegal immigration that it will be difficult to obtain a job or obtain permanent residency in the U.S.”
He adds that the “government will not be able enforce the laws, and there will be no way to verify the immigration status of people seeking a job.”
The law, which would also require employers to verify their immigration status before hiring, is estimated to raise $4 billion annually in fines for employers who fail to verify a person’s status.
The new law also “would allow the government to deny a worker or a guest a visa if they did not apply for or obtain a green card,” according to the authors.
In addition to the law, the bill also includes a requirement for the federal government to provide $2 billion in funding to Boston for construction of a border wall.
The bill also calls for the city to create an “independent oversight board to oversee immigration enforcement” and “an immigration court system that would provide for the speedy deportation of illegal aliens who do not pose a threat to the community.”