There has been considerable debate over whether the proposed economic stimulus bill will actually stimulate anything other than an avalanche of new government spending and higher taxes. Well, the Senate has now ensured that its version of the bill will stimulate growth in yet another undesirable area: illegal immigration.

Passed by the House last week and currently under consideration in the Senate, the economic stimulus bill could provide employment for illegal immigrants. Whereas the House version of the bill explicitly barred the employment of illegal aliens in stimulus-funded construction projects, the Senate bill strips these away these protections. Should the Senate version become law, as Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector noted this afternoon, 15 percent of all construction jobs created under the economic stimulus bill will go to illegal immigrants.