Is It Legal To Pay An Illegal Immigrant?

Interesting experience in dealing with federal and state bureaucracies and unions

We hired two union workers in Seattle from the local carpenters union. We gave them an employment package to fill out on site. They took them home, brought them back the next day with all the documentation that we requested. The paperwork was mailed to our Denver, CO office where we scanned and sent the payroll to our PEO, Staffscapes. (See link below) Within a day Staffscapes notified us that the Social Security numbers for these two workers was unverifiable. We notified the workers that they couldn’t work for us unless they provided the correct information.

Not having this happen before, my initial reaction was to say “I’m not paying these guys because they aren’t legal!” But, we checked with I.C.E. to see what their stance was. After calling three times, holding for over and hour, I finally got through by calling back and pushing different numbers on their menu. I was told the State of Washington Labor Department would have the answer to the dilemma of how or should we pay illegal immigrants.

I called the labor department and the first guy referred me to I.C.E. then gave me the direct number of someone within his department that would help me. It figures that that number (long distance) was a machine recording saying you couldn’t leave a message. I called back again and pushed different numbers on their menu and got through to a person that said the Washington State Labor Department doesn’t care about social security numbers, you just have to pay anyone that works for you no matter what.

So I guess it doesn’t matter if people have social security numbers that are false in this country. It doesn’t make much sense as they are using resources that us tax payers pay for but we can do nothing about it. There are laws about this but they don’t seem to be enforced.  

The union even threatened us, saying we broke laws by not paying the workers immediately after letting them go. There were other laws that we supposedly broke concerning this matter, but somehow I didn’t care as nobody is paying attention to these laws anyway, apparently.

We sent the checks out right away to avoid any problems. We didn’t have any problem paying for work done, just “Is it legal to pay an illegal immigrant?” Oh yeah, nobody wanted to say they were illegal, they just weren’t able to prove they had legal social security numbers.

Want to find out how many illegal immigrants there are in this country? Just try re-issuing a new card to everyone in this country (from existing records) and then make employees and federal and state organizations require you to show the un-forgeable document to get whatever you need; to be employed, to get benefits, get drivers licenses renewed, etc.

See Also

  • Staffscapes
    Professional Employer Organization (PEO) specializing in outsourcing of small business payroll, human resource (HR), workers compensation

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