With census data showing that approximately 11.7 million illegal immigrants are living in America, it should come as little surprise that many of these undocumented workers are finding employment. Some say that these workers are being exploited, making a fraction of what their legal counterparts earn and dealing with substandard working conditions. Others argue that they are taking jobs away from American workers. While there is truth in both perspectives, the fact remains that it is illegal for employers to hire these workers.
Homeland Security Investigations
This section of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department has developed convenient methods for reporting employers who hire illegal workers. It is possible to make such a report anonymously. However, those who wish to do so may disclose their name and contact information. This allows Homeland Security Investigations to contact the informant and potentially offer them a monetary reward. Those filling out a report should be aware that the department is not obligated to offer compensation, nor are they required to follow up on the matter with the person who made the report. Instead, the report is forwarded to the appropriate person for further investigation.
Reporting Online or Over the Phone
The ICE.gov website is the place to find the easy to use Homeland Security Investigations tip form. When filling out the form, select the "Employment/Exploitation of Unlawful Workers" option under the Suspected Violation heading, then provide as much information about the employer as is possible. Include a complete street address if available, and use the text box to summarize the suspected violations. Alternatively, a similar report can be made to the Homeland Security Investigations tip line. The toll free number is (866) 347-2423. Once again, this report can be completed anonymously.
Employing undocumented workers creates a multitude of problems. It drives down the wages of all workers, and takes jobs away from citizens and immigrants who have entered the United States legally. The penalties for hiring illegal immigrants are relatively tough, ranging from fines of between $250 and $5,000 per employee, and may even involve time in jail. Reporting employers who rely on illegal workers helps to ensure the integrity of the workplace, makes wages more competitive and forces businesses to toe the line when it comes to hiring practices. Filling out a report to Homeland Security Investigations is easy, and it protects the American worker.