Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm
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Workers lose jobs in wake of federal immigration check

One of the unintended consequences of the present immigration system about which Illinois residents might not be aware is that it gives employers a potential opportunity to exploit the undocumented status of their workers.

In another state recently, a farming operation threatened to release dozens of immigrants who could not prove that they had the legal right to work in the United States. The mass layoff came on the heels of a federal audit aimed at uncovering companies that hired workers without checking immigration status adequately. Under the terms of the audit, those employees who had problems with their documentation could correct the issues within 10 days in order keep their positions.

Several employees complained about the layoffs, saying that they had worked at this farming company for over a decade in order to support their families and that no one in management seemed to care about their immigration status. Some of those concerned about the layoffs even suggested that management had ulterior motives, claiming that the company used undocumented workers because they could more easily require them to accept long hours for little pay and practically no benefits.

Although this company could face stiff penalties from the federal government down the road, at this point it appears that the company solved its immigration problem at the expense of its employees. This case illustrates why broader opportunities for both employment-based immigration and other types of immigration are so important to have. Once a person can establish a legal right to work, he or she is better able to insist that his or her rights as an employee are respected.

In the meantime though, while the country waits for immigration reform, some options may be currently available to those immigrants who are seeking to regularize their status. An experienced immigration law attorney may be able to help.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Hundreds may face layoffs after immigration audit," May 10, 2014.

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions