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Scratching Out a Living"Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South"$
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Angela Stuesse

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287204

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287204.001.0001

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Walking on Eggshells

Walking on Eggshells

Illegality, Employer Sanctions, and Disposable Workers

Chapter:
(p.168) 8 Walking on Eggshells
Source:
Scratching Out a Living
Author(s):

Angela Stuesse

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520287204.003.0008

This chapter discusses the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which criminalized the act of hiring people without employment authorization and implemented a system of “employer sanctions” that would punish employers who knowingly hired illegal workers through a series of inspections and fines. While immigrants and workers' rights advocates were pleased with the IRCA's method of legalization, they were concerned that the power to verify employees' documents at whim would give employers a mechanism for discriminating injured, organizing, or “undesirable” workers. They also argued that the IRCA's employer sanctions provision would drive many workers to join the underground economy; thus, creating national insecurity, undermining everyone's civil liberties, and dividing workers from one another.

Keywords:   Immigration Reform and Control Act, employer sanctions, immigrant, advocates, civil liberties, underground economy

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