The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) made it illegal for employers to hire undocumented workers, and it shifted the responsibility and power of enforcement to employers’ hands. Because employers are ultimately concerned about their bottom-line profit margins, IRCA has created an inherent conflict of interest that incentivizes unscrupulous employers to take advantage of undocumented workers because, by doing so, the employers realize significant savings in the form of lower wages. In addition, recent judicial decisions have limited employers’ liability for violating federal labor laws, which has resulted in an overall dilution of undocumented workers’ labor-law rights. In short, unscrupulous employers are subject to less labor-law liability by hiring undocumented workers. This Article argues that Congress should repeal IRCA and take enforcement power out of employers’ hands, thereby restoring all employers to a level playing field.
Joseph D. Layne,
Fighting a Losing Battle: IRCA’s Negative Impact on Law-Abiding Employers ,
44 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1431
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/llr/vol44/iss4/4