In business activities, it is an unspoken fact that all the practices that are termed as illegal in the society turns out and has to be an unethical practice in business. However, there seems to be one illegal act that should be considered illegal in businesses but instead, businesses do not want to take this as an unethical practice. This is the employment of illegal immigrants in businesses. The essay that follows intends to analyze the ethical issues that are related to illegal immigrant employment. Immigrant employment is an issue that has been in the United States for a long time now and whether the immigrant has a legal right to be employed or not, they are harassed due to the simple fact that they do not belong in their host countries.
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The number of illegal immigrants present in the United States has increased from 8.4 million in 2000 to about 11.9 million in 2008. This accounts for approximately 4% of the total population in the United States. The unauthorized immigrants consist of those who have partial authorization to be in the States while others do not have permission at all because their immigration statuses remain an unresolved issue.
Of these illegal immigrants, about 5% make up for the total labor force in the United States in which most work in the service sector. They are employed in the blue sector jobs where they are exploited for cheap labor and low income. The large numbers of immigrants that have been reported in the US seem to have migrated into the States in the period between 2000 to 2004 while a remarkable drop was experienced between 2005 to 2008.
Illegal immigrants working in a country are something that is fully opposed by the citizens of a particular country. Irrespective of this, there are three groups of people that seem to be in full support of illegal immigrants employment and the first one is the immigrants themselves since there is no way they would rather not be employed, the other group that is in full support are the businesses who employ them because the immigrants offer a source of cheap labor. The last groups are the worst opportunists since they support immigrant employment with the hope that the immigrants will decide to be on their sides once elections begin and these are the politicians. Apart from these three who are the next best beneficiaries in immigrant’s employment, the rest of the populace is not in support of the “unethical” act (Carroll, par 13).
Businesses support illegal immigrants’ employment because they exploit the immigrants. Immigrant exploitation in the sense that the immigrants are assigned arduous tasks that are lowly paid. This is a good business idea for the employees at first when the immigrants are still young since they have the necessary strength that is needed for the performance of these tasks. However, as time goes by and the immigrants grow older, they cannot continue performing these gruesome tasks. They instead become a burden to the people and the economy altogether since they have to be included in the social service programs.
Apart from the fact that it is considered unethical to employ immigrants, it is more unethical than employees who support the idea so that they can offer low wages to the immigrants after they have engaged in hard work to ensure that they are paid. Even though having people work for lower-income which leads to low costs of production thus lowering the price of commodities, the consumers do not support the idea of immigrant employment but instead view it as a problem to the country rather than an advantage.
Consumers are supposed to encourage this because normally if a business offers job opportunities and people fail to apply for the jobs, it means that the employers have to raise the salaries and this will end up raising the cost of production, which will be reflected in the price of commodities in the end. The presence of illegal immigrants however deforms the operation of the legal market.
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Going by the three ethical principles beginning with the principle of rights, this is formed on the basis that every human being is entitled to a certain set of legal and moral rights. Immigrant presence in the States is already illegal, thus it cannot be a legal thing if the employers employ them. If the principle of the right is considered based on immigrant employment being ethical, it still does not qualify because there is no way that an illegal act can become ethical by any means, it is almost ironical to consider such a prospect.
The other ethical principle that is applied in business is the principle of justice. This principle determines whether something is just or not. Considering the issue of illegal immigrant employment, fairness is accorded to what is legal. What is legal in this case applies to the citizens in the United States who are living there legally as citizens by acquiring documentation to prove that one is a citizen by using proper means. It is therefore not fair for this person who has acquired citizenship through the proper means to suffer due to actions done by people who are living in the United States illegally. This is because as much as the young immigrants work tedious jobs and receive low incomes, the fact remains that their children attend schools that are legally paid for by the legal taxpayers while on their part they evade the laws of the country.
The federal law no longer has a pardoning year for any employer who is found in possession of an illegal employee. The federal expect the employers to conduct detailed and scrutinized procedures that would ensure that they have examined certain documents that would provide proof concerning the employees’ identity in addition to determining their eligibility for employment. After the examination of these documents is completed and the employment eligibility is proven, the employer is required to retain the form for verification purposes that is known as the 1-9 form. The NCSL came up with laws concerning the employment of illegal immigrants and these laws, 19 were enacted in different states.
Among these laws, a number of them have devised sanctions on employers who employ illegal immigrants or who in any way employ people who have clear legal verifications of their citizenship. The employers are also guided by a system that laws that are provided by the federals while employing and these are the E-Verify. Some states have decided to use these regulations on companies that are only operating publicly while those companies that operate without a public contract have a choice not to use the E-Verify (Dworaczyk 6).
Once a business is found guilty of having an unauthorized employee, the employee’s employment is first terminated and then the company is put under a period of probation. During the probation period, the employer is required to make a report file that gives detailed information about the employees that it is currently employing. The employer also faces the risk of license suspension if at any point he fails to meet particular conditions. The employer is not expected to repeat the same action of employing an unauthorized alien because if they are found guilty of committing the same offense, the court then has a right to revoke the licenses for an operation that are held by the employer.
In my own opinion, unauthorized immigrants have no right to take part in the employment sector since they do not have a legal right to do this. Acquisition of the proper documents could be the only reason that would grant an immigrant the right to work in the United States.
The immigrants could use the matricula card, which would be a means of identification as it allows them to contribute4 to tax collection instead of evading it since it provides a means for the immigrants to access tax identification numbers. It is an unethical practice for an immigrant to reside in a country and work normally as if they have every right to do so. Obtaining a means of identification that would make them legal occupants of the country would also reduce the unethical practice that businessmen use of offering low wages for very gruesome jobs.
It is quite unethical for any person to enter a country behind the laws of that country and reside there illegally since they become illegal residents of a country. At the same time, it becomes an unethical business practice for employers to employ illegal employees to work in a business. This goes against business ethics because the employees are subjected to cheap labor. It is a good thing that the federal government has taken a step to ensure that employers no longer have a reason to have illegal immigrants as employees.
Carroll, Archie. Considering the ethics of illegal migration. OnlineAthens. 2007.
Dworaczyk, Kellie. State Workforce Requirements Affecting Illegal Immigration. Focus report. 2009.