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RICO Laws Becoming The Last Resort Of American Workers

by Dan Stein Of Federation For American Immigration Reform

A lawsuit that was filed in Rome, Georgia, against Mohawk Industries Inc., is an indictment of the federal government’s refusal to enforce laws against the employment of illegal aliens as much as it is of the company itself, says the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). With federal enforcement of employer sanctions laws – meant to protect American workers against unfair competition from illegal aliens – virtually nonexistent, American workers are being forced to seek relief in the courts under the RICO statutes.

The suit was brought by four current and former employees of Mohawk Industries, one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the nation. The plaintiffs contend that Mohawk had engaged in a pattern and practice of knowingly hiring illegal aliens, thereby depressing the wages of thousands of U.S. citizens and legal resident aliens. In accepting documentation they knew to be false, as well as hiring numerous workers using the same name, and rehiring the same workers under different names, the company violated the letter and spirit of the federal anti-racketeering statutes, claim the plaintiffs.

“It is very sad that ordinary citizens are being forced to go to such great lengths to force their own government to protect their jobs and wages from unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire people who are in the United States illegally,” said Dan Stein, executive director of FAIR. “The government systematically ignores the massive violation of laws specifically intended to protect American workers against exactly this sort of practice, leaving people no other option but to sue under RICO.”

The lead attorney in the lawsuit, Howard Foster of Chicago, successfully used the RICO laws against employers in other parts of the country who have engaged in the practice of knowingly hiring illegal aliens. Foster was joined in this case by several prominent Georgia-based lawyers.

“The widespread employment of illegal aliens all across the United States is costing millions of Americans employment opportunities and robbing them of countless billions of dollars in lost wages. That constitutes a criminal conspiracy intended to cause economic harm to American workers,” said Stein. “Every politician in America, regardless of party affiliation, claims to be the friend of the American working man and woman, and an advocate of better jobs and wages. Yet both parties routinely turn a blind eye to massive illegal immigration and its impact on workers in this country.”

In 2002, a mere 13 employers were fined by the federal government for employing illegal aliens. “When an employer is more likely to win the state lottery than be punished for hiring illegal workers, there is no meaningful deterrent to this practice and the only recourse for American workers is through the courts.”

If the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs, Mohawk may be liable for treble damages under RICO. “Sadly, the case against Mohawk represents only the tip of the iceberg, but this case and those already prosecuted on behalf of workers in other states, employers may have to think twice before they knowingly undercut the wage of American workers by hiring illegal immigrants. When employers fear that they have more to lose in a potential lawsuit than they have to gain by employing illegal workers, this practice that hugely damages American workers may begin to abate,” said Stein.

About The Author

Dan Stein is the Executive Director of the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.