Use this button to switch between dark and light mode.

Unauthorized Workers Give Scofflaw Employers Competitive Edge

April 21, 2013 (1 min read)

"Competing with companies that hire immigrants who aren’t authorized to work in the U.S. is tough for a small business that follows the law because of the cost.  Often, businesses pay ineligible workers less, and they also save on taxes.

Sixty-eight percent of business owners surveyed this past month by the advocacy group Small Business Majority said too many companies gain an unfair advantage by hiring immigrants who aren’t eligible to work in the U.S.  In 2008, the Pew Research Hispanic Center estimated 8.3 million people were working in the U.S. without permission.  Estimates put the total number of people in the U.S. without permission at about 11 million.  The issue is in the forefront as lawmakers propose ideas to reform the country’s immigration laws.

“What small businesses want the most is a level playing field where they can compete fairly,” says John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority.  “Unless we fix the immigration system, small businesses are going to continue to operate at a disadvantage with companies that aren’t following the law.”

The use of ineligible workers divides small business owners.  Many don’t want to speak openly about whether they hire people who don’t have permission to be in the U.S.  Those who do hire ineligible workers don’t want to say publicly that they’re breaking the law, or that they benefit from paying workers less.

“Our members have told us that while they follow the rules — committing time and resources to the hiring process — they remain frustrated with their competition when they cut corners and don’t adhere to the same rules,” said Kate Bonner, manager of House legislative affairs for the National Federation of Independent Business." - Associated Press, Apr. 21, 2013.