It’s amazing how much you can accomplish simply by enforcing the laws that are already on the books.
While President Donald Trump has mainly focused on fighting illegal immigration through the supply side, i.e. building a border, deporting illegals, etc., the demand side can be fought by penalizing employers harshly who dare hire illegals. Last year the Department of Justice upped the stakes, increasing the minimum penalty for hiring illegals from $375 to $539, while the maximum fine increased from $3,200 to $4,313 (per immigrant). For those hiring multiple illegals, the maximum charge would be $21,563.
But is that really enough to act as a deterrent? I certainly don’t think so. The cost savings from illegal immigrant labor could be so great for some businesses that they risk being fined, and pay it once they are caught, and then continue hiring illegals.
And under Trump’s watch, the fines have been increased – big league, as he’d say.
According to USA Today, Asplundh Tree Experts Co. has set the record for the largest immigration-related fine in American history – a whopping $95 million. From the report: “The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia said Asplundh employed thousands of unauthorized workers between 2010 and 2014, its top management remaining ‘willfully blind’ while lower-level supervisors hired people they knew were in the country illegally. In some cases, the supervisors rehired workers who’d already been let go by the company due to their immigration status.”
The report continued: “Prosecutors called it the largest monetary penalty ever levied in an immigration case.”
To quote the prosecutors, “This decentralized model tacitly perpetuated fraudulent hiring practices that, in turn, maximized productivity and profit. With a motivated workforce, including unauthorized aliens willing to be relocated and respond to weather-related events around the nation, Asplundh had crews which were easily mobilized that enabled them to dominate the market.”
A $95 million penalty should be a nice wake-up call to every other business employing illegals. Here’s the message: Not only will you be caught hiring illegals, the fines will be so egregious you’d never think of risking hiring an illegal in the first place.
Share this if you want to see more businesses fined for hiring illegal immigrants!