Making Strange Bedfellows: Enlisting the Cooperation of Undocumented Employees in the Enforcement of Employer Sanctions
48 Pages Posted: 15 May 2022
Date Written: October 1, 2010
Conventional wisdom dictates that in order to control undocumented immigration, the law should punish employers who hire unauthorized workers. Although decades have passed with employer sanctions laws in place, it is indisputable that effective enforcement remains elusive. In fact, rather than consistently targeting employers, U.S. immigration authorities have more often focused on individual immigrants. Recently, however, with immigration policy at the forefront of national attention, there has been a call for a renewed focus on the nation's worst off ending employers. But after years of lax enforcement, immigration authorities are in a poor position to effectively change their strategy. To help facilitate enforcement, this Note argues for a proposal that has been largely shunned from immigration enforcement: Engage with undocumented employees as cooperators rather than as targets. Despite the fact that similar approaches are commonplace in other criminal and civil contexts, cooperative arrangements in the immigration arena are a relatively new phenomenon. This Note evaluates the existing cooperative features of our immigration laws and concludes that making cooperation a meaningful reality calls for a focused legislative response.
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