Illegal Alien Employers Will Face Lawsuits for Unfair Business Practices
by Jim Kouri, CPP
With the federal government's failure to curtail the onslaught of illegal aliens into the United States, coupled with the inaction of lawmakers in Washington, DC to pass real immigration reform, some Americans are looking at legal alternatives to thwart illegal immigration and those who facilitate it.
In addition, more and more Americans are recognizing that state governments aren't doing anything to curb illegal immigration, and, in fact, several states even aid illegal aliens or provide incentives. Also employers who hire illegal aliens create the driving force for illegals to enter the US in order to secure gainful employment.
For years, employers in California have known that they could hire illegal aliens without having to worry very much about as far as being prosecuted for breaking the law. Soon, however, they may have something serious to worry about: their competitors taking legal action against them.
According to legal experts, a Californian civil law includes a provision for a company that knowingly employs illegal aliens to be sued by competitors who have suffered economic damages as a result of such an illegal practice. When a construction company, for instance, uses minimum wage workers who are illegal aliens to underbid competitors in order to secure work contracts, those companies who hire Americans and legal "green card" immigrants and pay fair wages will be able to sue the illegal aliens' employer in a court of law.
As a result, dozens of scofflaw employers may soon find themselves in court as defendants. David Klehm, an Orange County attorney and founder of the IllegalEmployers.org website, together with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), a Washington, DC-based public interest law center affiliated with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), are planning to file lawsuits against companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. The lawsuits will be brought against businesses that hire illegals by a battery of lawyers who can best be described as Minutemen of the courts.
The suits -- some to be filed as early as this summer -- will seek restitution, damages and market protections on behalf of law-abiding small and medium-sized business owners who obey the law and use due diligence to identify illegal aliens who submit phony identification documents. Also, while the plaintiffs may be small to medium-sized companies, the defendents in these suits may be large corporations.
"Honest business owners and hardworking Americans are the forgotten victims of unenforced laws against illegal immigration," said Klehm.
"Since setting up IllegalEmployers.org I have received numerous requests for assistance from law-abiding employers who are struggling to stay in business because they face unfair competition from other companies who hire illegal aliens at lower wages, without benefits, and who often get away without contributing to the worker's compensation fund. The employers we represent are not asking for any special breaks; they just want to be able to compete for business on a level playing field," the experienced attorney wrote in a statement.
The Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement (FIRE) group, creator of the WeHireAliens.com website, has also played a crucial role in identifying scofflaw employers.
"Our alliance seeks companies that have lost business as the result of the illegal hiring practices of their competitors," explained Mike Hethmon, an attorney for IRLI.
"We are working with David Klehm because we believe that removing the economic incentives to hire illegal aliens is a key to solving this national crisis. We see this alliance as a model for cooperation between citizens concerned about illegal immigration and the majority of American businesses that are concerned about the effects of illegal immigration on the US economy," he said.
IRLI, which was founded as a legal advocacy group dedicated to representing the interests of American citizens in immigration law, has helped employers and legal workers recover damages using federal RICO statutes (Racketeering Influence and Criminal Organization Act).
"Even though the federal government is refusing to protect honest employers by enforcing laws against hiring illegal aliens, California law provides those employers a mechanism to defend themselves. This is the first time these state laws have been used to fight the effects of illegal immigration, but it won't be the last," noted Hethmon.
There are other states that have laws that may provide remedies to unfair business practices such as hiring illegal aliens at lower wages. Attorneys working for nonprofit, public interest organizations will be closely watching and studying the upcoming California cases
According to Klehm, honest businesses in the Golden State have lost billions of dollars over the years as a result of being undercut by competitors who employ illegal aliens. Under the law, they are entitled to compensation.
"For some of our clients, their only choice is to file a lawsuit or file bankruptcy papers," said Klehm.
"It is a choice that unfortunately been forced on them by the government's failure to enforce explicit laws against hiring illegal aliens. People who obey the law should not be forced into bankruptcy by those who don't."
The idea is simple: make hiring illegal aliens so costly that companies will find it in their best interest to avoid hiring illegal aliens. If there are no jobs for illegals, then the number of people sneaking into the US will dwindle, making US borders easier to protect against criminal aliens, drug and human traffickers, and terrorists.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.