"Judge rules illegal aliens can collect workers compensation" I was interviewed…

Begin forwarded message:


From: Michael Cutler <Mcutler007@aol.com>
Date: December 28, 2010 8:52:45 PM PST
To: Michael Cutler <Mcutler007@aol.com>
Subject: Examiner: “Judge rules illegal aliens can collect workers compensation” I was interviewed…

Hi Gang:
As you probably know, I was scheduled to appear on Tuesday morning’s edition of Fox News’ morning program, “Fox & Friends” to debate the ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals that illegal aliens are entitled to Workman’s Compensation.
The blizzard that blanketed the North East with roughly two feet of snow kept me home, however.
By an interesting coincidence I was contacted last evening by Kimberly Dvorak of the Examiner who wanted my perspectives on the ruling.  Kimberly’s article I have provided you below quoted me extensively but left out a few points I had hoped to make on air this morning, had the snow not intervened.  (Below her article I have provided you with the news reports about the ruling that delve into the details of the case.)
I suspect that what I will get into may make it a bit more difficult for you to sleep tonight- but I don’t want to get ahead of myself- you will find out, soon enough, what I find so troubling!
The illegal alien whose case was ultimately taken up by the Court of Appeals was Palemon Gonzalez, an illegal alien who had used the Alien Registration Card of his cousin, Armando Casarrubias when he applied to work for the bar where he would come to be injured when a patron threw a bottle that struck Gonzalez aka Casarrubias in the eye.
Here is a link to the actual court decision:

http://www.dcappeals.gov/dccourts/appeals/pdf/08-AA-1158_MTD.PDF

The illegal alien in this case is referred to as being “undocumented” when in reality he was falsely documented- he was claiming lawful status to which he was not entitled and, in order to substantiate this false claim he resorted to using the Green Card of his cousin.  It is not clear whether or not his cousin willingly lent him his Green Card or if he took it without the knowledge of his cousin.  This should be a matter of concern because if his cousin lent him the document, he may have committed a felony by entering into a conspiracy to enable Palemon Gonzalez to obtain employment he was not lawfully entitled to.  (This issue went utterly unaddressed by all concerned.) 

If Palemon stole the card he may well have committed identity theft- another issue and possible crime that was ignored by all involved.

Next we can see where the employer in this case was exposed to potential legal problems with the federal government for hiring an illegal alien.  While I strongly support punishing employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens it must be pointed out that the onus falls on the employer to not hire illegal aliens while not being potentially commit a “Civil Rights” violation by subjecting the employee’s documents to excessive scrutiny!
If you have a hard time believing this I would urge you to check out  the M-274 Handbook for Employers.  You can find the entire handbook at:
Here are a couple of passages from the M-274 Handbook For Employers that instructs employers about the way they are to complete the Form I-9 that the employer and employee fill out at the time that the employee is hired:  
Part Four
Unlawful discrimination and Penalties for Prohibited Practices
Unlawful Discrimination
General Provisions
The anti-discrimination provision of the INA, as amend- ed, prohibits 4 types of unlawful conduct:

1 . Citizenship or immigration status discrimination;

2 . National origin discrimination;

3 . Unfair documentary practices during Form I-9 pro- cess (document abuse); and

4 . Retaliation .

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice (OSC), enforces the anti-dis- crimination provision of the INA .TitleVII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), as amended, also prohib- its national origin discrimination, among other types of conduct .The U .S . Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII .

OSC and EEOC share jurisdiction over national origin discrimination charges . Generally, the EEOC has jurisdic- tion over larger employers with 15 or more employees, whereas OSC has jurisdiction over smaller employers with between 4 and 14 employees . OSC’s jurisdiction over national origin discrimination claims is limited to intentional acts of discrimination with respect to hir- ing, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, but the EEOC’s jurisdiction is broader .TitleVII covers both intentional and unintentional acts of discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination in hiring, firing, recruitment, promotion, assignment, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment . OSC has exclusive jurisdiction over citizenship or immigration status discrimination claims against all employers with four or more employees . Similarly, OSC has exclusive jurisdiction over all document abuse claims against em- ployers with four or more employees .

Types of Employment Discrimination Prohibited Under the INA
document Abuse
Discriminatory documentary practices related to veri- fying the employment authorization and identity of employees during Form I-9 process is called document abuse . Document abuse occurs when employers treat individuals differently on the basis of national origin or citizenship status in Form I-9 process . Document abuse can be broadly categorized into four types of conduct:

1 . Improperly requesting that employees produce more documents than are required by Form I-9 to establish the employee’s identity and employment authorization;

2 . Improperly requesting that employees present a particular document, such as a “green card,” to es- tablish identity and/or employment authorization;

3 . Improperly rejecting documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and belong to the employee presenting them; and

4 . Improperly treating groups of applicants differ- ently when completing Form I-9, such as requiring certain groups of employees who look or sound “foreign” to produce particular documents the employer does not require other employees to pro- duce .

These practices may constitute unlawful document abuse and should be avoided when verifying employment authorization . All employment-authorized individuals are protected against this type of discrimination .The INA’s provision against document abuse covers employers with 4 or more employees 
Here is an example question that is also provided in the M-274 Handbook For Employers:

Questions About Documents
10. Q.
A.
May I specify which documents I will accept for verification?
No .The employee may choose which document(s) he or she wants to present from the lists of acceptable documents .You must ac- cept any document (from List A) or combination of documents (one from List B and one from List C) listed on Form I-9 and found in Part Eight of this Handbook that reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them .To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice in violation of the anti-discrimination provision in the INA . Individuals who look and/ or sound foreign must not be treated differently in the recruiting, hiring, or verification process . For more information relating to discrimination during Form I-9 process, contact OSC at 1-800- 255-8155 (employers) or 1-800-237-2515 (TDD) or visit OSC’s Web site at www .usdoj . gov/crt/osc 
In reviewing the handbook you will notice that employers are told to use “good faith” in assessing the authenticity and validity of the documents that a newly hired employee provides and warns employers from asking for additional documentation under the possibility of being seriously fined if they violate these instructions while, at the same time warning the employer about the dire consequences that may result if the employer is charged with “knowingly hiring” an illegal alien!  Furthermore it is more than a bit crazy that while aliens present in our country are required by law to always carry proof of “alien registration” if they are over the age of 14 years- for a lawful immigrant that proof is the Green Card, but an employer may not demand to see the new employee Green Card when completing the Form I-9!
Last year I actually assisted, as an expert witness, in the defense of a couple of farm managers who worked on a farm in Hawaii and hired aliens in California.  The aliens showed the managers Green Cards that, while they were counterfeit, were of sufficient quality to enable them to get past the TSA “Document Checkers” when they were flown to Hawaii to begin their jobs- but ICE claimed that the farm managers should have apparently been able to determine that which TSA was unable to determine- that the cards were bogus!  These employees were not exploited, were paid on the books and all other factors that would be expected of an employment situation where an employer intentionally hired illegal aliens were not present!
The court decision that I have focused on for this commentary was purportedly arrived at to discourage employers from intentionally hiring illegal aliens- however, how does this in any way discourage aliens from entering our country in violation of law, assuming a false identity and working illegally?
Here is the final issue- I have decided to save the best (the worst?) for last:
Just last week CBS News, Fox News and ultimately DHS, the Department of Homeland Surrender revealed concerns about how terrorists might attempt to launch an attack against the people who are present in the United States by seeking to poison food served in hotels and/or restaurants.  (I am also greatly concerned about major food processing plants.)
Many people check out local Health Department ratings before eating in a restaurant because of obvious health concerns.  After all, how often do we hear about patrons of restaurants suffering the ill effects of food poisoning?  How often do we hear about the serious effects that an E Coli outbreak may have or the dire consequences of Salmonella showing up in food?
How comfortable do you feel knowing that thousands of restaurants employee God knows how many people who have access to our food and yet their true identities are unknown and unknowable?  The point is that when a person goes to the bother of creating a fictitious identity we do not know if they are simply attempting to secure illegal employment or have more sinister goals in mind.  Yet these folks are simply written off as being “undocumented” even as all of us who travel are subject to incredible and ever more invasive searches before we are permitted to board airliners.
The fact that a person uses a false name is not inconsequential.
A number of years ago I was a guest on a radio show that was broadcast from a nearby college campus.  One of the students called into the show and told me my concern about false names was “overblown.”
I made the following point, “Let’s say that next weekend you were invited to a party and met a young lady who was, in your judgement, gorgeous, highly intelligent and possessing a great personality and to your delight  you find out she shares many of the same interests that you enjoy.  Let us further suppose that you go out with her for a number of months and even spend time at a wonderful resort and everything is proceeding wonderfully and you cannot imagine you could be any happier in a relationship.  Now what would you do if one morning, over breakfast, this young lady says to you, “I feel guilty about not being totally honest with you- my real name is not Sue it is Carol!”
I asked him, “How would you react?  Would you continue the relationship?”
His response was immediate- he told me that when I brought it down to such a personal level this sort of deception took on a whole new perspective!
How would this make you feel if you were in a similar situation?
If this still does not resonate with you I would like you to consider this passage from the “9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel”
Here is the link to that voluminous report:  

www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/911_TerrTrav_Monograph.pdf

Introduction: Factual Overview of the September 11 Border Story

Terrorists travel for many reasons, including to train, communicate with other terrorists, collect funds, escape capture and interrogation, engage in surveillance of potential targets, and commit terrorist attacks.1

To avoid detection of their activities and objectives while engaging in travel that necessitates using a passport, terrorists devote extensive resources to acquiring and manipulating passports, entry and exit stamps, and visas. The al Qaeda terrorist organization was no exception. High-level members of al Qaeda were expert document forgers who taught other terrorists, including Mohamed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, their tradecraft.2

The entry of the hijackers into the United States therefore represented the culmination of years of practice and experience in penetrating international borders. We introduce our monograph with a retelling of the September 11 events from the perspective of border security as we understand it today.

The conspirators

Twenty-six al Qaeda terrorist conspirators—eighteen Saudis, two Emiratis, one Egyptian, one Lebanese, one Moroccan, one Pakistani, and two Yemenis—sought to enter the United States and carry out a suicide mission.The first of them began to acquire the means to enter two years and five months before the 9/11 attack.

Intelligence about terrorist travel

Three hijackers were known or knowable by intelligence authorities as al Qaeda terrorists in early 2000, but their biographical information was not fully developed and communicated to border authorities for watchlisting at U.S. consulates abroad (by the State Department) and at the border (by immigration and customs border inspectors). The travel plans of all three also were known or knowable in 2000, in part because of cooperation from Arab and Asian country intelligence services and border authorities.

The 19 hijackers used 364 aliases, including different spellings of their names and noms de guerre.As they passed through various countries, their names were recorded by governments and their intelligence and border authorities.
Let me repeat that last two sentence paragraph:

The
19 hijackers used 364 aliases, including different spellings of their
names and noms de guerre.4 As they passed through various countries,
their names were recorded by governments and their intelligence and
border authorities.

It is also interesting that one airline pilot has been hammered by DHS for raising serious and reasonable concerns about the fact that while flight crews and passengers are screened and searched airport workers who have total access to airliners can get on an airliner by just swiping a card with a magnetic strip through a card reader!  I will deal with this sort of lunacy in a future commentary. 

The bottom line- our nation’s leaders, members of our courts and other official in decision making positions act with reckless abandon to minimize the importance of our nation’s borders and the significance of the immigration laws that are supposed to protect our nation and our citizens for foreign nationals whose presence in our country may prove to be harmful if not deadly!

Meanwhile our nation’s “leaders” slice away at our expectations of privacy and freedom where the citizens of our nation are concerned.  The time has come for the effective and fair enforcement of the immigration laws to be seen as an important component of national security and an effective tool in combating transnational crime as well as terrorism.

How can anyone really talk about a “War on Terror” with a straight face?

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job.  Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors amnesty for millions of illegal aliens such as the DREAM Act or Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election! 
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 


Please check out my website:
Check out my radio show:
“Bordering on Insanity!”

 

Click on the links below to RePatriot Radio and listen to the internet radio show I host on Friday evenings from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern Standard Time:
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You can call in on Tuesdays at 609-447-0236


http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/dc-judged-rules-illegal-aliens-can-collect-workers-compensation



Scales of blind justice


Photo: File

Judge rules illegal aliens can collect workers compensation

  • December 28th, 2010 9:49 am PT
  • By Kimberly Dvorak, San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner


Straight
out of kangaroo court, a D.C. Court of Appeals judge ruled that illegal
alien, Palemon Gonzales, is eligible to receive about $11,000 in
worker’s compensation benefits.

The employer at the time, David Karim claims he knew nothing about
the employee’s legal status as he used his cousin, Armando Casarrubias’
green card to obtain a busboy job.

The illegal alien’s identity came to light after he was injured on
the job by a flying beer bottle that sent him to the hospital.

The aptly named bar, Asylum, found out their employee was using
falsified documents to work once the hospital began sending medical
bills in his real name.

The bar owner, Karim, testified at the workers’ compensation hearing
saying Gonzales snookered him and presented false documents to acquire
employment at his bar.

Once management found out the illegal alien provided false documents
they promptly fired him, but this action led to the courtroom where the
workers’ compensation board gave Gonzales his benefits.

The D.C. Appeals Court said it is legal under the District’s workers
compensation laws to provide benefits to any employee regardless to
legal status. The court claimed it is “consistent with the principle
that the (workers’ compensation act) is to be construed liberally to
achieve its humanitarian purpose.”

The court suggested the opposite decision could lead to employers
reneging on their responsibility to protect workers. By paying workers
compensation for illegal immigrants the court stated it would avoid a
“powerful incentive for employers not to hire such individuals.”

However, anti-illegal immigration advocates see things differently.

“The court noted that it was trying to send a message to those who
would employ illegal aliens- putting them on notice that they must not
treat employees unfairly,” said Michael Cutler former INS agent and
immigration expert who has testified before Congress numerous times.  “I
certainly agree that we must do all that we can to discourage the
employment of illegal aliens by employers- however, what about the
message that this decision sends to illegal aliens and foreign nationals
who may, at this moment, be contemplating running our nation’s borders
and seeking illegal employment?”

Cutler contends this case is reminiscent of the President and members
of Congress who said they wanted to put illegal aliens on a pathway to
United States citizenship.  “The idea is that if your violate our
borders, violate our immigration laws and likely other laws along the
way, we will not only let you get away with these violations- we want to
reward you for those violations.” 

In essence, comprehensive immigration reform and other forms of
amnesty send precisely the wrong message to the illegal aliens as does
this Appeals Court decision, according to Cutler.

“There is nothing in the decision that deters or dissuades aliens
from running our borders and working illegally- quite to the contrary,
the court decision will likely be seen as an additional inducement for
aliens to ignore our borders and our immigration laws while the Court
claims the point was to discourage employers from intentionally hiring
illegal aliens,” he finished.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2010  Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.


D.C. court: Illegal immigrants can receive workers’ comp

<image001.png>workers_comp_form.jpg
An illegal immigrant injured while working can receive workers’ compensation, the District’s highest court has ruled.

Palemon Gonzales was working at a D.C. bar as a busboy on June 30, 2005, when a customer threw a bottle that hit Gonzales in the right eye, blinding him. Gonzales, an illegal immigrant, had to have his dislocated lens reattached through surgery, and he wasn’t able to return to work — at a different bar — until Jan. 25, 2006. By then, Gonzales was already in the process of trying to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Asylum Company, which owned the bar where Gonzales was injured, fought the claim, in part, on the grounds that it contends an illegal immigrant can’t receive workers’ compensation.

The D.C. Court of Appeals, however, says one can and Gonzales may now receive about $11,000.

One of the bar’s owners, David Karim, is now a partner in the D.C. nightclub Josephine. He testified during Gonzales’ workers’ compensation hearing that the company wasn’t aware until after the injury that Gonzales was an illegal immigrant, court documents said. The company thought Gonzales was Armando Casarrubias, Gonzales’ cousin, whose name was on the immigration green card that Gonzales presented when he applied for a job at the bar.

It wasn’t until July 17, 2005, a few weeks after Gonzales was hit by the bottle, that Karim said Asylum learned Gonzales’ real identity, documents said. Up until that day, the hospital had been sending bills for Gonzales’ surgery to Asylum. But the bills were in Gonzales’ name and not in Casarrubias’. On July 17, 2005, however, Asylum pieced the puzzle together when Gonzales returned to the bar and asked to restart his job despite not being cleared to do so by his doctor. The bar management turned Gonzales away anyway because, Karim testified, they now knew Gonzales was an illegal immigrant.

The workers’ compensation board awarded Gonzales benefits and the appeals court ruled that is legal under the District’s workers compensation laws because, in part, doing so is “consistent with the principle that the [workers’ compensation] Act is to be construed liberally to achieve its humanitarian purpose.”

Moreover, federal laws designed to deter illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S. do not usurp the local law, the appeals court said.

Those laws were meant to disrupt the “magnetic” pull of U.S. jobs on illegal immigrants. Allowing employers to get out of paying workers compensation for illegal immigrants would create “powerful incentives for employers to hire such individuals,” the appeals court ruled.

Illegal immigrants can receive workers’ comp

An illegal immigrant injured while working can receive workers’ compensation, the District’s highest court has ruled.

Palemon Gonzales was working at a D.C. bar as a busboy on June 30, 2005, when a customer threw a bottle that hit Gonzales in the right eye, blinding him. Gonzales, an illegal immigrant, had to have his dislocated lens reattached through surgery, and he wasn’t able to return to work — at a different bar — until Jan. 25, 2006. By then, Gonzales was already in the process of trying to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Asylum Company, which owned the bar where Gonzales was injured, fought the claim, in part, on the grounds that it contends an illegal immigrant can’t receive workers’ compensation.

The D.C. Court of Appeals, however, says one can and Gonzales may now receive about $11,000.

One of the bar’s owners, David Karim, is now a partner in the D.C. nightclub Josephine. He testified during Gonzales’ workers’ compensation hearing that the company wasn’t aware until after the injury that Gonzales was an illegal immigrant, court documents said. The company thought Gonzales was Armando Casarrubias, Gonzales’ cousin, whose name was on the immigration green card that Gonzales presented when he applied for a job at the bar.

It wasn’t until July 17, 2005, a few weeks after Gonzales was hit by the bottle, that Karim said Asylum learned Gonzales’ real identity, documents said. Up until that day, the hospital had been sending bills for Gonzales’ surgery to Asylum. But the bills were in Gonzales’ name and not in Casarrubias’. On July 17, 2005, however, Asylum pieced the puzzle together when Gonzales returned to the bar and asked to restart his job despite not being cleared to do so by his doctor. The bar management turned Gonzales away anyway because, Karim testified, they now knew Gonzales was an illegal immigrant.

The workers’ compensation board awarded Gonzales benefits and the appeals court ruled that is legal under the District’s workers compensation laws because, in part, doing so is “consistent with the principle that the [workers’ compensation] Act is to be construed liberally to achieve its humanitarian purpose.”

Moreover, federal laws designed to deter illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S. do not usurp the local law, the appeals court said.

Those laws were meant to disrupt the “magnetic” pull of U.S. jobs on illegal immigrants. Allowing employers to get out of paying workers compensation for illegal immigrants would create “powerful incentives for employers to hire such individuals,” the appeals court ruled.

 

http://www.workerscompinsider.com/archives/000411.html

December 20, 2005

Illegal Immigrants: Working In the Twilight Zone

The Insider has been researching the intersection of illegal immigrants and workers compensation. In most states, attempts to preclude illegal workers from securing comp benefits have failed. But now we read of a case in Nebraska (Isaac Ortiz v. Cement Products <http://court.nol.org/opinions/2005/december/dec16/s05-437.htm>) where an illegal immigrant is cut off from vocational rehabilitation, which is normally an essential part of comp benefits for workers who cannot return to their pre-injury jobs.

Ortiz came to the United States illegally in 1990. He has a sixth grade education and does not speak, read or write English. He has worked as a laborer for a number of employers, even though he lacks proper documentation. He applied for a job with Cement Products, with a friend filling out the application (a common strategy for people lacking literacy). He provided a false social security number on his application and on his employment eligibility verification form.

In July 2001 a large bucket of cement fell on Ortiz’s leg. His medical bills were paid and he collected indemnity under workers comp. With his employer unable to accommodate his restrictions, he sought re-training under vocational rehab. The court determined that Ortiz could not participate in voc rehab, because he was not legally authorized to work in the United States.

At trial, Ortiz testified that he will not be returning to Mexico, but, rather, intended to remain in this country, where he may not be lawfully employed because of his illegal status. The court determined that awarding Ortiz vocational rehabilitation services in light of his avowed intent to remain an unauthorized worker in this country would be contrary to the statutory purpose of returning Ortiz to suitable employment. He cannot work, therefore, he is not entitled to training that would allow him to work.

2nd Class Benefits for 2nd Class Workers
This case has some truly staggering implications. For example, even if Ortiz’s employer had been able to accommodate his restrictions, they could not have done so. Because his illegal status was exposed during the workers comp process, he no longer could work. As an illegal immigrant, he was precluded from returning to his prior job. It appears that illegal workers collecting workers comp, once exposed, only have the option of collecting indemnity payments for an ongoing disability. They cannot return to their old jobs (modified or full duty) and they cannot retrain for new jobs. Once their claims have revealed their status, their working days are over. So they either remain on disability (with the employer footing the bill) or they slip beneath the radar screen to the underground, cash-only economy.

With all the debate on the status of illegal workers, a few things are clear:
There are millions of illegal workers in the United States.
They drive cars, but are unable to obtain legitimate licenses (and insurance) because they cannot meet federal identification requirements.
They are working some of the least desirable and most hazardous jobs.
They are not protected by conventional American labor standards. (Do you think illegal workers are able to collect the overtime to which they are entitled?)
They are not well trained and they lack proper safety equipment. 
The Insider suspects that they suffer serious and fatal injuries at higher rates than other workers.
They live in constant fear of exposure and are frequently exploited.

Return-to-Work is Not an Option
While many states have (rightfully) opened the door for illegal workers to participate in the comp system, the Nebraska case highlights the dramatic contradictions that arise when the door is only half open. Most injured employees can collaborate with their doctors and their employers to achieve the mutually satisfying goal of returning to productive employment. The careers of illegal workers, by contrast, come to an abrupt halt as soon as comp claims are filed. Illegal immigrants are confronted with a very difficult choice: trying to prolong their disabilities as their only legitimate source of income, or disappearing into the underground economy. It’s neither productive nor prudent to force workers into this conundrum, regardless of the immigration status. We will keep an eye on this problem, with its myriad policy implications, as it plays out from state to state in the coming months.

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