A very prevalent subject within topic of immigration is the affect that immigration reform has on the United States workplace. This a concept that many people fail to realize, something that I also have just now become aware of, an idea that todays immigration laws not only negatively affect immigrants attempting to work in the United States but that this in turn hurts American Workers in several different categories. The main cause of this issue is that Illegal immigrants are working in the United States illegally. On top of that many workplaces in the United States are hiring these illegal immigrants and paying them less then minimum wage, while also not following many laws that the United States has in place. They are able to do this because illegal immigrants have no choice but to accept the work they are able to find, if they do get a job they do whatever it takes to keep it and have the ability to feed themselves and their families.
Consequently many American workers are paying the price for illegal immigrants working for these companies who are paying them less then minimum wage and disregarding many other employment requirements and laws. This is occurring because companies have all the control and power. If an American worker decides to question the company for not following the employment laws, he will most likely loose his job to the next guy up (possibly an illegal immigrant). So who is at fault here?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter who’s “fault” it is. Something needs to change because everyone is getting the short end of the stick, American workers as well as immigrant workers. One step the United States has taken to move closer to a healthy employment system is modifying the I-9 form. They have increased the amount of information required on illegal immigrants including, expanded instructions renamed an mandatory forms, employee fields such as email address and phone number, expanded information for alien employee, and a space for a 3-d barcode. (Lauby) These modifications will allow the United States to keep both a closer look on immigrants and the companies that are hiring them. This in turn will make it more difficult for companies to not follow employment laws and requirements. Although this is a step in the right direction for are country, it is still not enough.
Immigration Reform has the ability to make workplaces safer, as well as make it more difficult for companies to disobey employment laws and requirements. In the article “Make Work Places Safer with Immigration Reform”, the author Jorge Ramirez explains the dangers of working in the United States. He highlights that on average in the United States, “13 workers die every day on the job as a result of workplace injuries” (Ramirez.) This demonstrate the dangers of working in the United States due to the fact that our companies are not properly following employment laws and requirements to make the workplace safer for our citizens at work. Once again this leads back to my earlier statement that Companies in the United States have t much power due to our problems with illegal immigration. If someone does decide to stand up for themselves against these companies, they have to fear losing their jobs and not being able to afford food and housing because they know they could easily be replaced. Too many workers are being forced to bite there tongue and do what they know they should not be required to do, putting themselves in dangerous situations. Relating this more so to immigrants, Ramirez further explains that in everyone 100,000 workers, “the job fatality rate for Latino workers was 3.9” (Ramirez), while “the overall rate is just 3.5 per 100,000” (Ramirez). This 0.4 different clearly demonstrates that illegal immigrants are being put in dangerous situations and being taken advantage of by companies in the United States. The reasons for this include the illegal immigrants lacking documentation, they are unaware of their rights, and/or limited English proficiency. (Ramirez)
Once again Immigration Reform will take the power away from these companies and businesses that do not follow the laws, and give workers in the United States a safer workplace. This will also make stricter requirements for companies who are paying illegal immigrants less then minimum wage or disobeying hour requirements. Ultimately bettering our economy and giving everyone a fair shot at a job regardless of their immigration status.
Ramirez, J. (2013, April 26). Make workplaces safer with immigration reform. Retrieved from http://www.progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2013/04/26/op-ed-make-workplaces-safer-immigration-reform
Laubey, S. (2013, July 7). How new immigration reform measures impact your workplace . Retrieved from http://www.hrbartender.com/2013/recruiting/how-new-immigration-reform-measures-impact-your-workplace/