Don't hire illegals!

Mar 05 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Thinking about hiring labor under the table? Think again! After the public campaign of fear-mongering and pointing the fingers at low-wage earning illegal aliens (read: Mexicans), the American government is finally going after those who are really responsible: the companies looking to save money by hiring illegal workers.

The penalty for illegal hiring is a fine that varies, but under new rules, it can go up by as much as $5,000. That may sound like a lot, but look at what the current penalties are: first-time penalties are now in the range of $375-$3200, while recidivists could face $11-16k fines.

This might be a lot of money to small to medium sized companies, but it certainly doesn't deter large companies from this practice. Perhaps the answer is to set the fine according to a company's sales figures. Surely a company raking in $50 million a year would feel the sting a bit more, just like a small company would over a $3200 fine.

In this situation, it's hard to truly blame the worker, who simply is trying to improve his or her life by any means necessary. Most of us would likely do the same simply out of hunger or necessity.

I realize that most of us don't like going after companies unless they are Microsoft or Enron, but a number of profitable companies use illegal work to cut corners and that shouldn't be tolerated.