Governments Crack Down on Companies that Hire Illegal Immigrants

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Tuscon, AZWith each day that passes more and more governments are passing laws to crack down on companies that hire illegal immigrants. At the same time, employees are filing their own lawsuits alleging that their employers' illegal practices are causing wages to drop drastically.

One of the latest governments to pass legislation is Arizona, which voted this week to punish companies that hire illegal immigrants by suspending or revoking their licenses. The move would close businesses temporarily to start. First-time offenders would be put on probation for three years and risk having their licenses suspended for up to 10 days. However, second-time offenders would have their licenses permanently revoked.

illegal immigrant workersIn Green Bay an ordinance set to take effect this weekend was passed by the city council. The ordinance states that any business that hires illegal immigrants could have licenses, contracts, and city grants taken away.

Some business owners are already being charged for hiring illegal immigrants. The owner of two pizzerias was arrested and accused of hiring illegal immigrants to work and live in the restaurants. Investigators said that the business owner employed immigrants who did not have work documents and paid them in cash. Officials say they have arrested over 3,200 people in enforcement investigations this year.

Meanwhile, in Allentown, Pennsylvania 81 suspected illegal immigrants were arrested during a raid at a manufacturing plant. The focus of the raid was a temp agency that provided the workers to the manufacturing plant, not the plant itself.

Hiring illegal immigrants is a crime. Employers who hire illegal immigrants often do so because they can pay less than minimum wage and not provide benefits to their employees. This drives down local wages.

Some companies have been sued for hiring illegal workers to decrease wages. Executives at Zirkle agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a RICO lawsuit that alleged the company hired undocumented workers to keep wages down.

A lawsuit was also filed against Swift & Co., by 18 former employees of the meatpacking company. The plaintiffs claimed that company executives actively sought illegal immigrants and hired them. According to the lawsuit, hourly wages when the plant opened were around $20 per hour but dropped to $12 per hour because of the hiring of illegal immigrants. Other lawsuits have been filed against Mohawk Carpets and Tyson Foods.

If your wages were driven down because your employer hired illegal immigrants, contact a lawyer to discuss your options. More lawsuits will likely be filed in the near future as employees learn more about their employers' dishonest practices.

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