As a South Florida contractor, you undoubtedly run into your share of undocumented immigrants looking for work. You may have even hired some to flesh out a skeleton crew during busy times.
But you should be aware that hiring undocumented workers could open you up to legal problems. While it’s true that the focus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents is primarily the arrest, detention and deportation of the undocumented workers, the companies and individuals that hire them could also face negative scrutiny.
The construction industry workforce in South Florida is transitory in nature. You hire workers for a big project, then pass out the pink slips once the job is in your rear view mirror. They move on to secure other employment, and the cycle repeats itself.
You hold onto certain reliable and experienced key workers on whom you can depend, but it’s the nature of the industry to cycle laborers in and out of your employ. It is highly likely that at some point — perhaps even right now — you have one or more undocumented workers on one of your crews.
They may have even presented you with documentation that looked solid. And it probably was, except that the documentation actually belonged to someone else who never set foot on one of your job sites.
It’s easy to see how you could get caught up in an immigration scandal for hiring allegedly undocumented workers. We can help you sort out your workers’ employment documents and determine whether they are genuine or fraudulent.
Taking the time now to exercise this due diligence will be worth its weight in gold if it allows you to sidestep a problem with federal authorities.