Tuesday, February 26, 2013

U.S. Employers Exploit Immigrant Low-wage Workers Study Found

Some employers tend to use the broken  immigration system to exploit workers, according to newly released NELP study.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 26, 2013

Milwaukee,  WI- On Tuesday,  a co-released a 38-page study by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) reports that some employers used the broken down immigration system to ignore laws, tend to hire illegal immigrants and then exploits them. These employers and a health insurance company engaged in reporting illegal workers to police in an attempt to avoid paying worker's compensation insurance or earned wages. Another company, Palermo Villa Inc., a Milwaukee pizza making company fired 75 employees after attempting to form a union and advocating for better working conditions and wages. Palermo Pizza accused the employees of failing to reverify their work status shortly after Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) suspended a workers job I-9 verification audit at the plant when the employees in question went on strike in June.
The report entitled "Workers' Rights on ICE: How Immigration Reform Can Stop Retaliation and Advance Labor Rights" includes cases in which some identified employers retaliated against alleged illegal workers by reporting them to police and making false charges against them to avoid paying their wages. ICE was also called by dubious employers to help them eliminate any threat of legal challenges by illegal workers attemping to collect earned wages. Most illegal workers face at least one type of pay-related work place violation, the study indicates.
In 2010, the civilian work force in the U.S. was composed of 23.1M foreign-born workers, including 8M illegal workers who made up about 5.2 percent of the country's labor force.
In 2012, ICE deported a record 409,849 undocumented immigrants (workers) and in President Barack H. Obama's first four year term, more than 1.5M were deported, according to ICE. No deported numbers were released or have been made available showing what percentage of those deported were turned in to ICE by employers to avoid paying them workers insurance compensation or earned wages.
The study also provides recommendations to prevent the exploitation of illegal workers, the NELP study reported.

 Click to view (PDF) NELP Report

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