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undocumented workers

New Map Shows How Many Undocumented Immigrants Work in Texas

By Peek & Toland on May 4, 2017

The issue of undocumented immigrants working is a controversial one in Texas and elsewhere. It was a major issue in the recent presidential election campaign.

Recent research by the Pew Center looked closer at this unauthorized immigrant workforce. It provided figures on how many undocumented workers are present in Texas and other states.

Obtaining figures about the size of the unauthorized immigrant workforce is problematic. Undocumented workers are not allowed to work. There is no official paper trail. The Pew Center relied on estimates using government census data.

The report said about 8 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. were working or looking for work in 2014. They make up about five percent of the civilian labor force.

mapping undocumented immigrants in Texas

The unauthorized immigrant workforce expanded rapidly during the 1990s and early 2000s. The unlawful immigrant workforce fell slightly compared to the start of the recession in 2007.

Unsurprisingly, states with the largest populations of undocumented immigrants have the largest number of undocumented workers.

California had about 1.7 million unauthorized immigrant workers in 2014, Texas, had 1.1 million and New York had 600,000.

Undocumented workers make up about 8.5 percent of the overall workforce in Texas.

The size of the unauthorized immigrant workforce has not changed markedly in the Lone Star State since 2009.

The workforce grew in Washington, Utah, Virginia, Minnesota, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and fell in California, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, South Carolina and Rhode Island.

The nation’s 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants comprised just over a quarter of America’s 43.6 million foreign-born residents in 2014.

Undocumented Immigrants Are More Likely to be of Working Age

The Pew Center survey also showed that unauthorized immigrants make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (5 percent in 2014) than of the overall US population (3.5 percent).

They are disproportionately likely to be younger of a working age. The study found just over 90 percent of unauthorized immigrant men aged 18 to 64 were working or looking for work two years ago, compared with 79 percent of U.S.-born men of similar age and 84 percent of lawful immigrants in a similar age range.

Texas has one of the highest numbers of undocumented immigrants of any state. If you require help please contact our Austin immigration lawyers for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration, Immigration Reform

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Fewer Undocumented Workers are in the US than in 2008

By Peek & Toland on December 29, 2016

The issue of undocumented workers took center stage in the U.S. presidential election, raising questions about how many immigrants are working unlawfully here.

The answer, according to a recent CBS news story, is not as many as in 2008.

The story drew on research published this year by the Pew Research Center, which looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It estimated there were about 8 million undocumented workers in 2014.

The figure was down from about 8.3 million in 2008, which was at the height of the recession and 8.1 million the following year in 2009.

study looked at numbers of undocumented workers

male hand pressing immigration key button over blue abstract background

At the same time, the size of the American labor force comprised of people born in the United States or immigrants who are entitled to work, grew by 2.2 percent.

Undocumented workers are making up a smaller share of America’s labor force than in 2009.

Where Are Undocumented Workers Coming From?

The survey also provides some information about the source of the unauthorized workers.

The number of undocumented workers from Mexico has decreased in recent years. However, Mexicans still make up the largest share of unauthorized workers.

U.S. Census Bureau figures state about 5.85 million unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico. El Salvador is the second largest source of undocumented workers. About 700,000 were born in the Central American country.

Over the last five years, there has been a steady increase in unauthorized immigrants coming from Guatemala, China, and Canada.

Pew found the number of unauthorized workers rose in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, while it fell in South Carolina, Georgia, and California.

Unauthorized workers are most likely to work as drywall installers and agricultural workers.

Other professions that employ high numbers of unauthorized workers are roofing and construction, carpet installers, maids and housekeepers.

It is prohibited for undocumented immigrants to seek employment, although undocumented workers can be self-employed. Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on how thousands of undocumented immigrants are their own bosses.

If you are undocumented, making a living can be a major problem and you are likely to be living in constant fear of potential deportation. Our Austin immigration attorneys may be able to help you. Read about our success stories here.

If you or a loved one is facing an immigration dilemma, call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration

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Texas Company Managers Are Convicted of Unlawfully Hiring Undocumented Workers

By Peek & Toland on August 30, 2016

Two Salvadorian nationals in Texas have been convicted of unlawfully hiring undocumented workers for jobs at a waste disposal company.

The pair were convicted earlier this year of conspiring to employ undocumented workers and encouraging them to live in the United States.

A federal jury in Houston convicted Israel Arquimides Martinez, 44 and Rudy Alexander Martinez, 36, of a conspiracy to employ 10 or more undocumented workers over a year. At the conclusion of a two-week trial, both men were also convicted of inducing and encouraging the undocumented workers to reside in the United States as well as conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

Two company managers were unlawfully hiring undocumented workers

The U.S. Department of Justice stated in a press release that the defendants worked in Houston for a waste disposal company. Rudy Martinez was a company’s commercial route manager, while Israel Martinez worked as the residential operations lead driver. A federal investigation found that from the end of July 30, 2008, until April 2012, the two men conspired to hire and continued to employ undocumented immigrants who they knew could not legally work in the U.S.

Our Austin-based criminal defense attorneys represent many clients who are charged with federal offenses such as immigration fraud and hiring undocumented workers. These offenses carry stiff penalties.

The Department of Justice recently increased fines for companies found to be hiring undocumented workers. However, the penalties are harsher when a firm is accused of employing 10 or more undocumented immigrants at one time.

Federal law says employers must only hire only U.S. citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. Prosecutors said Israel and Rudy Martinez hired manual laborers and paid little regard to the legality of their work status.  Even after internal audits were carried out, the DoJ alleged they failed to take corrective measures to make sure the employer was hiring workers who were authorized to work in the United States. Even after they received information from the immigrants themselves that they were undocumented, they continued to employ them, the DoJ stated.

Rudy and Israel Martinez encouraged the undocumented workers to obtain false documentation and assigned false identities to them. In some cases, they also provided them with employment documents related to the false identity the workers assumed so they could remain employed as helpers at the waste disposal company’s Houston location.

The men face up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine conspiracy to encourage and induce the migrants to live in the United States. They could face a further $250,000 fine and five years in prison for unlawfully employing workers who lacked documentation. Their conviction for aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years to be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.

This case highlights the dire consequences you can face for hiring undocumented workers. These cases are not always cut and dry, and there may be mitigating circumstances. If you are facing immigration offenses it’s important to hire a Texas family immigration and criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Immigration, Uncategorized

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