Here is the full text of Rep. Jones' press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 11, 2007
Contact: Cana Garrison (517) 373-0853
REPRESENTATIVE JONES CALLS FOR END TO BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS
Representative Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) today announced he has uncovered a case of an illegal alien receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Michigan for eight years. The individual obtained a Michigan job by using fraudulent identification before alleging injury and applying for benefits. After the company went bankrupt the workers’ comp fund continued to pay the individual.
Jones asked the Workers’ Compensation Agency director if any illegal aliens had been caught collecting benefits, if the suspects were turned into the federal authorities and if the system could be improved to stop this from happening again.
"I was shocked to find out that the department does not keep track of these cases, has no idea how many have occurred and does not have procedures in place to communicate to federal law enforcement when there is a suspected illegal alien," stated Jones.
Jones consulted workers’ comp expert Attorney Thomas H. Cypher of Bleakley, Cypher, Parent, Warren, and Quinn of Grand Rapids, who has argued workers’ comp cases before the Court of Appeals. Cypher alone has handled approximately 50 cases of illegal aliens receiving workers’ comp who were hired on a fraudulent basis.
Representative Jones is drafting legislation that prevents illegal aliens who are hired based on fraud from collecting workers’ compensation benefits and from filing a civil claim. Currently an illegal alien can even get 104 weeks of free college. This legislation will not affect legal migrant farm workers. The responsible state department would be required to keep records of potential illegal alien activity and report them to the federal authorities.
"I have heard from carpenters and other workers who have reported job losses in Michigan due to illegal aliens. We must do everything possible to protect Michigan workers and Michigan companies from illegal aliens. The word ‘illegal’ must mean something and if an alien defrauds a company with fak e identification, he should not be able to get benefits from the system," stated Jones.