Employment Protection Policies And The Undocumented Worker

Read Complete Research Material

Employment protection policies and the undocumented worker


The article “Employment protection policies and the undocumented worker” starts the discussion the aftermath of Katrina. The author built the argument by stating the fact that it was after Katrina's devastation that we got to know about the actual planning of our country, all the loopholes that were present in the system came in front of all. The author then shifted his focus on, one of the important issues that are, undocumented workers existing in the labor force. Soon, after the devastation of Katrina undocumented worker pour in the Gulf Coast because of plentiful jobs available there. The paper basically discusses the protection provided to undocumented workers that have come to United States for the sake of employment opportunities, which are not available in their countries.


In order to critique the article, we must first understand the concept of undocumented workers. The term "undocumented workers" includes persons who entered the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, a visa that allows a noncitizen to visit, study, or work in the United States for a temporary period of time. It is difficult to determine exactly how many unauthorized workers currently live in the United States. Unauthorized workers face detention, removal, or federal prosecution as a result of their status; thus, it is almost impossible to count the population. Federal estimates based on the 2000 census placed the figure at 7 million with an estimated annual growth of approximately 350,000 per year. Other estimates report the unauthorized population to range from 9 million to 11 million. The total United States population is approximately 281 million; thus, the unauthorized population is a small percentage of the total population of the United States approximately 2.5 percent using the federal government figures (Waddell, pp. 1-17).

The undocumented population tends to be employed in the agricultural, manufacturing, hospitality, and construction industries. Employment and the search for higher wages continue to be the strongest reasons for undocumented migrants to enter the United States, although U.S. employers face stiff federal civil and criminal penalties if they employ undocumented workers. Undocumented workers also enter the United States to flee economic, political, or natural disasters. Some of these persons may eventually qualify for permanent residency as refugees. Some of them may be granted temporary protected status until the emergency that caused them to leave their country of origin is remedied or resolved. Undocumented migrants also enter the United States to be close to relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens (Chavez, pp. 150-156).

The article has highlighted the fact that American society has at times tolerated the presence of undocumented migrants. Increasingly, toward the latter half of the twentieth century amidst concern that the undocumented population was growing too quickly and taking away too many jobs from American workers, Congress enacted legislation to deter undocumented worker. Legislation enacted in 1986 dealt with undocumented worker in a variety of ways, including enhancing criminal sanctions, strengthening border controls, criminalizing the employment of undocumented workers and marriage fraud, and an ...
Related Ads