Employers with Undocumented Workers Pay More Fines

Civil fines imposed on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants are increasing by 25% starting March 27, 2008 for the first time in nine years. Criminal prosecutions against employer offenders is also increasing, with fines much higher, as much as nearly $1 million dollars per undocumented alien, depending on the specifics of the particular case.

The new fines for civilly knowingly hiring an undocumented worker (or discriminating against a legal worker) are from $375 to $3,200 (up by $100 to $1,000). The maximum penalty under the civil penalty law, for repeat violators is now $16,000 (up $5,000). Criminal fines are far higher.

Fines for I-9 form administrative paperwork violations of $110 to $1,100 will remain the same. 

Decreasing demand for high enough paying jobs to support families in Mexico will alleviate the problem. As Mexico's economy improves while that of the U.S. deteriodrates, there becomes less need for such jobs in the U.S., but despite the move toward each other's economies, the economies of the U.S. and Mexico remain significantly enough apart that the conundrum of unlawful workers remains for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, U.S. employers are charged with the responsibility of having a secure, legally authorized to work, workforce. Failure to comply can result in jail time and fines so high as to bankrupt U.S. employers.