CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Idea of the Day: How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Will Benefit Workers

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon
idea light bulb

Few people would dispute the fact that our country has a broken immigration system. More than 11 million people are living in the United States without legal status, millions of people are waiting to be reunited with their families, and employers are not able to recruit the foreign-born workers our economy needs. But the effects of this broken system extend beyond immigrant workers, their families, and employers; all American workers are harmed by the nation’s dysfunctional immigration policies. Specifically, they are harmed because our immigration system undermines the employment protections of immigrants and subsequently erodes the effectiveness of employment laws for all workers.

To fully understand why American workers are harmed, one must first consider the role of immigration enforcement in the workplace and how it affects the employment rights of immigrant workers. Under current immigration law, it is illegal for employers to knowingly hire undocumented workers. Despite this prohibition, unscrupulous employers use workers’ undocumented status to avoid compliance with employment laws and deter them from filing formal employment complaints with federal agencies. Many of these employers have therefore managed to go unpunished for their unlawful employment actions.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or lbartolomeo@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Print: Elise Shulman (oceans)
202.796.9705 or eshulman@americanprogress.org

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or bstrong@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or jmolina@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here