Dec. 13, 2023

HARRISBURG – Seeking to highlight his continuing work to address issues created by illegal immigration in Pennsylvania, Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) today hosted a Capitol press conference to discuss his six proposals that are currently under consideration in the House of Representatives. 

“Not only is immigration a federal issue, but it’s also an issue we need to deal with here in Pennsylvania law as well,” said Mackenzie. “The things we can do really fall into two categories. The first is enforcing existing federal law. The second relates to a number of areas in state government, where we already collect data on citizenship. We want to make sure an individual is here lawfully and not doing anything illegal.” 

The latest numbers from the federal government are alarming. In October 2023 alone, U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection reported nearly 241,000 encounters at the southwest border, which is a 4% increase compared to October 2022, and a 46% increase over October 2021. 

Mackenzie’s bills are as follows:

•  Protecting Vulnerable Children from Labor Exploitation – House Bill 1714 would strengthen Pennsylvania’s Child Labor Act to provide stronger penalties for unscrupulous employers who take advantage of the most vulnerable children, and to provide cross reporting requirements that will notify other appropriate authorities to protect the child in specific situations, including cases of unaccompanied minors. 

“Here in Pennsylvania, we have seen a 276% increase in the number of child labor cases that have been opened since January compared to the same period a year ago. That kind of spike is something that is just simply unacceptable. We want to make sure that when somebody is caught exploiting children in the workplace that they are punished accordingly,” noted Mackenzie. 

•  Requiring E-Verify for All Public Contracts – House Bill 274 would require all public contractors and subcontractors to use the federal E-Verify system, which is a convenient way for employers to ensure their workforce does not include individuals not authorized to work in the U.S. 

“This issue is one I have been working on for several years. I was the prime sponsor of Act 75 of 2019, which requires employers in Pennsylvania’s construction industry to use E-Verify. The law protects jobs in that sector from illegal immigrants who undercut wages and take jobs away,” added Mackenzie. 

•  ICE Background Checks for Firearm Purchases – House Bill 1066 would require the Pennsylvania State Police to notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General of all attempts to purchase firearms by persons who are illegally or unlawfully in our country. 
•  Ending Sanctuary Cities – House Bill 1840 would prevent Pennsylvania municipalities and counties from designating themselves as sanctuary cities to thwart federal efforts to combat illegal immigration by restricting the enforcement of immigration law. 
•  Improving Accuracy of Voter Registration Records – House Bill 1883 would improve the accuracy and integrity of voter registration records through a simple and effective cross-reference with the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania. 
•  Prohibiting Noncitizens from Voting in Pennsylvania Elections – House Bill 1890 would clarify the Pennsylvania Constitution’s voter qualifications provisions, providing for a more specific prohibition on noncitizens voting in elections at any level in the Commonwealth. 

“I look forward to working with my House colleagues in advancing these bills which address some of the problems being created here in Pennsylvania by the federal immigration crisis,” concluded Mackenzie.  

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
187th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717-260-6474 /