New migration study offers Western nations tips on curbing the hiring of undocumented immigrants

A new report (PDF) by the Migration Policy Institute released today provides a set of guidelines to curb illegal immigration employment in the U.S. and the European Union.

The study explains the underground labor market is a result of not only the lower wages employers can pay undocumented workers, but out of the employer’s desire to have greater human resource flexibility with hired help. The second point is important — bringing individuals onto payroll binds the employer to a slew of taxes and regulations, oversight that can be avoided if the worker is undocumented.

Proving employer guilt, the report finds, is one of the challenges to the legal system, but deterring the inflow of undocumented workers is a more systemic problem.

MPI suggests expanding the number of work visas the U.S offers, thereby decreasing the number illegal immigrants. The research paper also proposes a more streamlined approach to filling low-income jobs as domestic workers move up the value chain. It prescribes greater emphasis on targeting already present low-income workers and neglected communities to fill jobs typically plucked by undocumented aliens.

On the matter of visas, the policy paper recommends putting an end to the standard-of-work permits that ties one’s work authorization to a specific employer. That mobility can help bring down the rate of employer abuse, especially among communities that have few legal outlets.

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