Millions of undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. Some industries are known for relying on the particular low-wage labor they perform. Some, however, may mistakenly hire those who are not legally entitled to work. Either way, the penalties for employing or helping an illegal immigrant to find employment in the United States can be severe. Read on to find out more on this common labor problem.
Recent statistics show that laborers without documentation comprise approximately 10% of the United States labor force. Industries in which undocumented workers are often employed include hospitality and construction. Employers in the restaurant business often feel pressured to make the decision to employ dishwashers, cooks and porters who don’t have the legal permission to work in the United States because it’s difficult to find American laborers to do jobs that are considered both difficult and low paying. https://www.eater.com/2017/2/28/14749392/undocumented-workers-restaurant-illegal.
Some employers are just under pressure to move quickly so don’t take time to verify that the documents they’ve been given by an incoming employee haven’t been falsified. Though running a business in which laborers from foreign countries who don’t have permission to work within the U.S. is routine in many parts of the country, the risks for doing so are increasing. The legal nightmare that can ensue once discovered should be enough to thwart businesses from engaging in this practice.
https://www.eater.com/2017/2/28/14749392/undocumented-workers-restaurant-illegal. Some employers are just under pressure to move quickly so don’t take time to verify that the documents they’ve been given by an incoming employee haven’t been falsified.
Penalties for offering illegal employment to someone can include imprisonment and very steep fines. https://www.fairus.org/issue/illegal-immigration/law-against-hiring-or-harboring-illegal-aliens. That’s why companies under investigation for illegal hiring practices really need to acquire experienced legal representation because while it may seem like it’s not a big deal to have a few workers off the books, it can ultimately lead to a serious conviction.
Payroll software has evolved in the past decade. Entering fake Social Security numbers for laborers that don’t have valid work authentication can bring immediate scrutiny on a business from agencies that include the Social Security Administration. If an employer’s entire business model is based on harboring illegal immigrants for the purpose of performing labor such as farming or construction work, the charge can be a felony.
In some circumstances undocumented workers may be able to acquire their own legal representation and take an illegal employer to court if they feel that they were not sufficiently compensated for the labor they performed. Undocumented workers have some legal protection under federal law. The fact that they’re illegal doesn’t bar them from having the right to litigate against employers in a U.S. court of law.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE)have recently intensified their efforts to crack down on businesses who hire undocumented workers. The federal government’s effort to identify lawbreakers in this specific arena can be methodical and include auditing. New measures can go beyond just raiding companies and trying to find illegal workers on the spot.
Laws under former political administrations didn’t always prohibit employers from having illegal employees. President Trump’s new initiative is only actually a vigilant application of Ronald Reagan’s Immigration Control and Reform Act or the IRCA, which first created a framework for the prosecution of illegal workers. Businesses who engage in the practice of hiring illegal laborers because they don’t have the overhead to operate otherwise, really need to restructure or beware. Once they’re caught, having experienced lawyers who can explain their legal options and defend them might, however, make a difference.