Immigration Law’s Third Rail
By Christopher Punongbayan
President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which mandated that an employer may not hire any person unless that person had legal permission to work in the country. Many Americans assume this has been the rule since our nation’s founding, but it’s just not the case.
There are now more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who suffer under this regime of unauthorized vs. authorized work. They endure exploitative working conditions where failure to pay minimum wage or overtime is commonplace.
All Americans, including undocumented Americans, deserve a fair chance in the labor market. But because of this fundamental unfairness due to the 1986 law, the system will always be rigged against them.