Jan 24, 2018

Immigration bill would leave minimum wage Dreamers at risk

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

An immigration bill proposed by conservative House Republicans and supported by President Trump includes a provision that would criminalize non-student DACA recipients if their annual income falls below 125% of the federal poverty rate.

Why it matters: A covered individual making the federal minimum wage would be unable to miss a single hour of work in the entire year, let alone take a sick day or vacation day.

The Math
  • Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, as it has been since 2009. It currently is the applicable rate in 21 U.S. states.
  • Someone earning $7.25 per hour who works 40 hours per week for 52 weeks would earn $15,080 in a year. This assumes that the person works all federal and state holidays.
  • The 2018 federal poverty level for an individual is $12,140 per year.
  • 125% of the federal poverty rate would be $15,075 per year.
  • Bottom line: The bill establishes just a five dollar buffer between what such an individual would earn and being found in criminal violation of immigration law.

Kathryn Rexrode, communications director for the House Judiciary Committee, did not return requests for comment.

Go deeper

What top CEOs fear telling America about the coronavirus shutdown

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Top CEOs, in private conversations and pleas to President Trump, are warning of economic catastrophe if America doesn't begin planning for a phased return to work as soon as May, corporate leaders tell Axios.

Why it matters: The CEOs say massive numbers of companies, big and small, could go under if business and government don't start urgent talks about ways groups of workers can return.

Health care workers vs. the coronavirus

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, and Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images

Health care workers are at an especially high risk of catching the coronavirus, because of their prolonged exposure to patients who have it. Making matters worse, the U.S. doesn't have enough of the protective equipment, like masks and gloves, that keeps them safe.

And yet these workers, with loved ones of their own, keep showing up at hospitals across the country, knowing that more Americans than they can possibly care for are depending on them.

Go deeperArrow42 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus crisis tests Trump’s love for cheap oil

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Trump is working to help an oil industry imploding as the coronavirus crisis chokes demand, but listen closely and you’ll hear his enduring love for cheap prices.

Why it matters: He’s like most Americans, who worry about energy only when it’s expensive or gone. As president, Trump has been slow and uneven in responding to the sector’s turmoil because of his inclination to cheer rock-bottom prices.