Clampdown on black market Irish workers in US
New measures being introduced targeting illegal workers are seeing undocumented Irish being forced out of their jobs, according to the Immigration Rights Commission.
New electronic verification forms being introduced across America are forcing thousands to quit their jobs.
E-verification involves workers providing their employer with documents that can be cross-referenced with the files kept by the US Government's Homeland Security department. These documents show a person's status in America and make it clear whether they have a legal entitlement to seek work.
Anyone whose documents don't match up is likely to be arrested and deported.
"The e-verification number has changed the game for workers here. Under this system you have to prove you are legal to keep your job so workers are being given the option of complying, or leaving their jobs," says Angus McCarthy, chairman of the Immigration Rights Commission (IRC) in San Francisco.
McCarthy says that the forms have so far caused thousands to quit.
At present it is only mandatory for employers working on federal contracts to e-verify their workers.
However, a number of industries have taken it upon themselves to implement the rules, fearing that they will be penalised in the future if they are found to be employing illegals.
For instance, many Irish working in black market jobs in America work in the construction industry and this appears to be one of the sectors that has already started self enforcing. The hospitality industry has also started to check records of employees.
The future looks bleak for undocumented Irish in America as a bill is currently making its way into law in Washington DC that will make it mandatory for all businesses to to comply with e-verification within one year.