Photo: I-9 Audits Forcing Undocumented into the Shadows Once More
As immigration officials continue the audits of businesses across the U.S., undocumented immigrants aren’t all fleeing the country. Some are just being forced underground, and into the hands of unscrupulous employers who will take advantage of those whose rights are not often recognized in this country.
In today’s economy, and amongst the last few years’ hard-lining immigration laws (Arizona’s SB 1070), once-prospering undocumented workers now find themselves just struggling to remain of the streets.
In 2009, the Obama administration began auditing businesses’ I-9 employment forms looking for verification that all of their employers were legally allowed to work in the U.S. At first, immigrant rights advocates were glad to see an end put to the deportation raids they claimed were inhumane.
The business audits however, are now pushing many immigrant workers back into the shadows, and leaving employers without employees. Though the claims are constantly made that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs from Americans and those legally allowed to work in the U.S., business owners (especially farmers) say they have no one willing to work their crops when the immigrants are fired or scared off.
And as the raids continue, undocumented workers – many from Mexico—are seeing the American Dream slip through their fingers, only to look back at the country they hailed from riddled in violence and drugs. Leaving them with fewer places to call home.