How can you tell if workers are illegals???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    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?
  2. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    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.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    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.
  4. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    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.
  5. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Most Mexicans who try to apply with my company don't even have 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.
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116


    +++++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.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  7. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    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.....
  8. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    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.
  9. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    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.
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    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.

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