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How Can We Combat Wage Theft And Protect Immigrant Workers?


How Can We Combat Wage Theft And Protect Immigrant Workers?

Rachel Deutsch

Every year, millions of workers suffer from wage theft when employers or companies do not pay them what they are owed.

Immigrant workers are particularly vulnerable to wage theft and unsafe working conditions  because employers realize they will be reluctant to report violations out of fear of being reported to immigration authorities.


How can we combat wage theft?

Fire the boss.


That is a good one. Hey, if immigrant workers are so ticked they have a choice to go home.


these aren’t immigrants; they’re migrants. of course corporate liberals gloss over that important distinction in order to keep the sub-wage labor flowing and keep their lawns in order.

most migrants get jobs precisely because they can be paid less than actual immigrants, green card holders or, heaven forbid, actual citizens.

if employers had to pony up the proper, legal amount, the migrant pool would start drying up, which could have a positive effect on low wages across the board (but at this point, we can’t assume that relationship in economics anymore).

I don’t like anyone getting ripped off, including scab labor, but let’s keep this particular issue in perspective.


Severe problem. The migrants know they have no rights. Frequently they actually “work” for another person, who gets paid and takes a cut of the worker’s wages. The Constitution, that unread document, seems to protect “people”, and that means all people have, say, the right to assemble. The Dutch do things correctly. Migrants are needed, domestics, for example. A person wanting to work in Holland applies to the Netherland government, and people wanting workers get to look and choose from lists provided by their government. Once selected, the government manages the package. That includes a preset wage, paid to the government, using cash provided by the employer, who pays the worker. The package limits the experience to a 36 month stay. The package includes air fare, and two annual vacation visits “home” to reunite with the family, and a return, one way passage after the 36 month job is finished. This seems to work well. Usually the worker accumulates a good pile of cash which goes a long way in the home country. If they can buy a piece of land, they can eat for the rest of their lives. Wage theft is limited, and working conditions are acceptable. We could do something like that too, a great thing for our Department of Labor to manage.