Antonio Solomon

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Illegal immigration and jobs are and have been hot-button issues in American politics for quite some time. The further politicization of immigration policies and immigrants themselves in the 2016 presidential election cycle only exacerbated the prescience of America’s illegal immigration woes. Inflammatory rhetoric suggesting that illegal immigrants are “stealing” jobs from American citizens permeated the political landscape in 2016. Rhetoric, which, at the same time, gives little credence to the fact that some American companies and industries actively lure immigrant workers as a source of cheap labor, which, in turn, allows those companies to offer their goods and services to American consumers at lower prices.

Against that backdrop, it seems unsurprising that commentators view the federal statutory and regulatory scheme designed to punish employers for hiring undocumented workers as an abject failure because that system is too lenient on employers that knowingly engage in such hiring practices. Ironically, the state of affairs concerning this area of federal law has the same adverse effects on immigrant populations as the Trump administration’s spate of migrant border detentions. Undocumented immigrants are detained or deported, resulting in the separation of migrant families, which places a significant strain on the United States judicial system and other public infrastructure to determine the best way to deal with the children of those deported and detained immigrants. Some of whom are American citizens.