NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Walking A Tightrope On Hiring Illegals

December 8, 1999

The federal government is putting American employers in a torturous position. If they hire illegal immigrants, they could find themselves in trouble with the Justice Department -- because doing so is illegal. But if the undocumented applicant presents false documents and is hired and later claims discrimination, that employer invites the wrath of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

That's because the EEOC has determined that illegal aliens have the same rights as citizens under anti-discrimination laws.

  • "Employers may no more discriminate against unauthorized workers than they may discriminate against any other employees," say the new guidelines that apply to any company with at least 15 people on its payrolls.
  • Activist Hispanic groups have taken the bizarre position for years that employer sanctions encourage discrimination against legal immigrants because they give employers a reason to question their status.
  • Analysts say the likely result of the new guidelines is to encourage expensive lawsuits against employers.
  • EEOC chairwoman Ida Castro is discouraged that more Hispanics haven't filed anti-discrimination suits -- complaining that only 4.5 percent of the agency's cases are filed by Latinos.

"Latinos are humble. But it's time Hispanics start speaking up," she says.

Source: John J. Miller (National Review), "Break the Law, Then Sue U.S.," Investor's Business Daily, December 8, 1999.


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