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View Full Version : How can you tell if workers are illegals???


JimLewis
07-26-2004, 02:24 PM
Ok, so we've had the discussion here on Lawnsite regarding illegal immigrant workers several times.

Some of you have some major problems with businesses hiring illegals. Others don't seem to care too much.

That's not what this thread is about. I don't care what your opinion on the issue is. Whether you support or oppose the use of illegal labor doesn't matter right now. I don't want to go there with this thread.

But suppose an employer did want to make a diligent effort to make sure he wasn't hiring illegals - how would he do that? My argument has always been that it's next to impossible for me to tell which of my workers are illegals and which aren't. They all have social security cards that look real. They all have driver's licenses with their pictures on them. And I always have my friend, who is a cop, run the license numbers for me to check that they are valid. And most of them also have a Resident Alien card or something similar. So how am I to tell if these documents are legitimate or not? How is an employer suppose to know who's really illegal and who's not?

parkwest
07-26-2004, 02:36 PM
I don't see why it is a business job to screen for foreign invaders since all the feds do is fly them across the border so they can start the journey over again. Seems to me that during a time of war we would have our troops along the border protecting us from them in the first place. Wouldn't it be easier than making businesses track them down.

ps. I also think it is assinine to force businesses to be tax collectors for the federal gov't.

JimLewis
07-26-2004, 03:05 PM
Allrighty then. Your opinion is noted. But ONCE AGAIN, I am not looking for opinions. We've all discussed that topic enough here on lawnsite.

I am wondering specifically how a company would check on the legality of a worker if they wanted to.

Is there any simple way a business can tell if a prospective worker is here illegally or not? That's the question.

Tharrell
07-26-2004, 03:07 PM
I don't see anything more you could do. You're already doing more than most. I wonder if being illegal would affect an insurance claim of some sort, like a contractors GL or a homeowners policy? Like I said, you're probably doing all you can.

Gene $immons
07-26-2004, 03:14 PM
Most Mexicans who try to apply with my company don't even have anything...no resident alien card, S.S. card, nothing.

Then they act surprized that I turn them away. My favorite is when they tell me that I could just pay them in cash. Thats a laugh!

I think you are doing all you can. If they have the documents that the I-9 form requires, and the photo ID "looks" like them, you have covered yourself. If there is a problem with a social security card, the S.S. administration will send you a letter many years later. Usually the employee is gone by then anyway.

DFW Area Landscaper
07-26-2004, 03:50 PM
Jim,

+++++Is there any simple way a business can tell if a prospective worker is here illegally or not?++++

Not if they've got what looks like real credentials. If the credentials look real, we, as ordinary citizens, don't have a way of verifying the validity. At least not that I'm aware of.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

HighGrass
07-26-2004, 04:05 PM
I know one way that works pretty well. Just tell them during the interview that your cousin works for immigration and likes to do unschedulled routine checks and if they have a problem with that. If they are not legal, chances are they will.....
http://www.cwgsy.net/community/tosy/images/roadrunner.gif

Turf Medic
07-26-2004, 04:15 PM
It's really tough to tell which documents are fake, but if you have a Hispanic employee that you can really trust they can usually tell real quickly by looking at the documents. I have seen some documents that look very real only to have my friend look at them and point out why they are fake. I think the INS has some handouts on what to look for when trying to determine if the paperwork is legitimate. I have seen some very pitiful looking documents, where the picture was obviously clipped and pasted. The biggest thing IMO is to make sure the documents look very legal, that way your butt is covered if you get checked out. You are not a specialist in the document field so all you can do is all you can do.

Evergreenpros
07-26-2004, 04:23 PM
Jim,
You are doing all that you really can. Fill out the I-9, verify SSN, Green Card, etc. In fact by law you don't even have to verify information past looking at their documents. You're supposed to send in your I-9 and the gov't will verify info.

You can run a background check on them, but that will only show if they have had a conviction (if that).

We don't have a national ID card system, so there isn't much else we can do. In America we don't have to have an ID to be somebody, we are who we say we are until proven otherwise.

MMLawn
07-26-2004, 04:28 PM
Under Federal Law and the Patriot Act as an Employor you are suppose to fax under your Federal Employer ID Number any and all new workers SSN, Drivers License, etc to your State's ESC and the IRS so that the can verify this very thing.

walker-talker
07-26-2004, 05:08 PM
You only have to do so much to relieve yourself on any liabilites. Above and beyond that is up to you.

Turf Medic
07-26-2004, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by MMLawn
Under Federal Law and the Patriot Act as an Employor you are suppose to fax under your Federal Employer ID Number any and all new workers SSN, Drivers License, etc to your State's ESC and the IRS so that the can verify this very thing.

We have not recieved any information on this, or if we did we missed it. Where did you see this information, do you know of a link? The only time that we have been instructed to forward anything to the IRS was if an employee claimed more than 10 exemptions on his w4 form.

Mark McC
07-26-2004, 07:10 PM
Jim, I don't know if there's any foolproof way to ascertain whether someone's here legally. Next year, I'm going to hire and I'll follow federal and state guidelines, but if I get snookered by someone with really good phony documentation...well, look kids, if I was James Bond, I'd be driving an Aston Martin, not an F-150.

HOOLIE
07-26-2004, 10:04 PM
If their Green Cards are blue, that's a suspicious sign right there...

I would certainly photocopy any documents, ID's etc. that they give you. That way you'll have some sort of proof of why they looked legit, even if they are not.

Mikes Lawn Landscape
07-26-2004, 10:17 PM
Tell em INS is coming tomorrow for an inspection and see who calls in sick.:D

parkwest
07-27-2004, 04:07 PM
Here is the link for all of you business owners who are evidently opreating "illegally" You are required to have this form filled out on all your employees and also if you are a sole proprietor or a partnership youo are to fill it out on yourself. No doesn't that make you feel safer?

Can anyone spell "SCRUBS"

http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/i-9.htm