Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

Immigrants in detention centers working for little no money

While wondering whether Congress will ever vote on immigration reform, thousands of immigrants are being held in detention centers across the nation while sometimes being paid as little as a dollar a day for work they perform.

There are business executives from companies like McDonalds and Coca-Cola who would like to see immigration reform go forward. There is a shortage of individuals willing to take on a number of low-skill occupations that are available and they believe that our immigrant population can fill that need.

As it is immigrants are already performing a number of low-skill tasks such as food preparation or janitorial work in detention facilities. However, the work they perform is not protected by federal law and the workforces are frequently managed by private contractors.

One immigrant worked in a California restaurant for $15 per hour until he was detained by immigration officials. He claims to now be working a similar position for $1 per day. According to business leaders the work that they could be performing "bolsters U.S. prosperity." TThis is especially true of individuals who are not likely to face deportation but are nevertheless deprived of the opportunity to perform a job.

It appears that change will be slow. Our current immigration system is bogged down with regulations that make it difficult for employers to fill needs due to various compliance requirements with United States immigration and nationality laws. Employers and immigrant employees may thus need to turn to experienced attorneys to make certain that laws are complied with and future problems are avoided.

Source: Deseret News, "In our opinion: Immigrants need the legal right to participate in the economy and be paid market wages," June 11, 2014

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