03 February 2024

Today in Good Policy

The Biden Administration is aggressively pushing a new program which grants them work permits when they report on unlawful behavior by employers.

First, it means that bad employers are more likely to be held to account for abusing workers that they know to be illegal, and second, it raises the risks of hiring illegal workers, which makes potentially far more costly to hire illegal workers:

Construction worker José Moncada fractured his wrist while using a jackhammer on a demolition job in Manhattan six years ago — and got some unusual instructions from his site foreman, who promised he’d get his medical bills reimbursed.

One, take a cab to the hospital, rather than an ambulance. And two, tell doctors he hurt himself at the park, he recounted.

Working for the same demolition company at another construction site, a welder named Alejo suffered a debilitating injury when sparks hit his eye, close to his retina. (Alejo requested that his last name not be published.) His foreman paid for a cab to the hospital, instructed him not to disclose he was injured on the job, and said the company, Caledonia Carting Services, would pay his medical bills.

Both men relayed their experiences to law enforcement authorities investigating allegations of workers’ compensation fraud and retaliation against workers by Alba Services Inc., which uses laborers supplied by Caledonia Carting. In return, both received working papers after more than a decade in the U.S. as undocumented workers.

The two men’s work authorizations resulted from a little-known new federal program that allows immigrants exploited in the workplace, or who are involved in law enforcement probes stemming from workplace violations, to apply for protections from deportation. 


In announcing the new process a year ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it “has long considered requests,” on a case-by-case basis, to protect workers cooperating with law enforcement from deportation.

But now the request process is “streamlined and expedited,” according to the department, and adds work authorizations to the mix.

(emphasis mine

I've always thought that if you want to be tough on illegal immigration, you go after the employers.

This is not a bad start.


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