PA Legislative Latino Caucus slams efforts to impose a state fee on international remittances made by migrants

HARRISBURG, March 14 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Latino Caucus today released the following statement on the announcement by state Rep. Mike Cabell, R-Luzerne, that he plans to introduce legislation that would impose a state fee on international remittances made by undocumented migrants.

“The idea of imposing an additional 10% fee on money transfers made by immigrants can only be described as absurd and vicious. This proposal clearly discriminates against immigrants; it is targeting a vulnerable group.

 “This bill is aimed at penalizing people for sharing a marginal percentage of their hard-earned salary with relatives abroad. Where is the logic and humanity in that argument?

 “Representative Cabell emphasizes that Oklahoma and other states have enacted similar legislation. It doesn’t mean that this is right; he cannot use this as a pass to validate and encourage discrimination in Pennsylvania.

 “Representative Cabell is also pushing the idea that the revenue will be used to support the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. We have excellent news for Representative Cabell: Governor Josh Shapiro's expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program delivered the largest targeted tax cut for seniors in nearly two decades, expanding access to nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvanians and increasing maximum rebates from $650 to $1000. And not a single immigrant was sacrificed in the name of that progress.

 “This is what we Democrats are doing in the legislature: we are delivering for all Pennsylvanians by implementing commonsense solutions.

 “The Latino Caucus is against any form of bias against immigrants. We stand with social justice, and we are going to continue fighting for their right to be treated with fairness in all 67 counties of the commonwealth.”

 Cabell’s bill is to be introduced as companion legislation to a proposal in the state Senate to be introduced by Republican state Sens. Doug Mastriano and Chris Gebhard.