Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Los Angeles, CA - Nov 22, 2016 - President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to come down hard on immigration. He has plans to “build a wall,” triple the number of ICE agents and discontinue “catch and release.” Consequently, there will be less undocumented immigrants in the Unites States.
Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”), it is illegal for an employer to employ undocumented workers. Employers have an obligation to confirm their workers have legitimate status in the United States, or they can be fined. If an employer finds that one of the employees are undocumented workers, they must terminate their employment. Many employers find out that their undocumented employee does not have legal status only after they become injured on the job.
Trump’s tough stance on immigration may have a substantial, indirect effect on the amount of ongoing workers compensation claims.
Undocumented immigrants make up ten percent of the work force in California. When undocumented workers get injured on the job, they are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits. In fact, undocumented workers are entitled to the same extent of workers compensation benefits as workers with American citizenship. Thus, undocumented immigrants make up a significant portion of the ongoing workers compensation cases.
Workers Compensation laws are mainly state laws. These laws are usually drawn up at the state level. The President of the United States will not have a hand in drawing up state workers compensation laws. He will not have a direct effect on the actual workers compensation rules and enforcement. However, Trump’s tough stance on immigration may have a substantial, indirect effect on the amount of ongoing workers compensation claims.
Undocumented workers usually take physical jobs such as in the agriculture or construction fields. In those fields, the risk of injury is greater than in less physical jobs. However, a large number of undocumented workers do not file claims because they fear deportation. The Trump administration promises to be tough on immigration, which would lead to an even greater fear of deportation. Inevitably, the number of workers compensation claims will drop.
Also, the leaders at the State level may follow Trump’s stance on immigration. They may draw up legislation that is tougher on illegal workers, such as no workers compensation benefits at all.
It is anticipated that Trump will make a splash at the executive and federal level. His views and principles may trickle down to the state level and significantly impact the California Workers Compensation system.
Belal Hamideh Law