2007 May 27 Sunday
EU Looks To Cut Employer Demand For Illegal Immigrants

The European Union looks set to start taking a much tougher line against illegal aliens. The United States could benefit from following the EU's lead on immigration policy. The European Commission is developing a new law to cut back on illegal immigrants.

The European Commission has presented a new Directive to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. The proposal is part of a comprehensive European Migration policy supporting legal migration, fighting illegal migration and building cooperation with Third Countries. "It is vital to acknowledge that the near certainty of finding illegal work in EU Member States is the main driving force behind illegal immigration from third countries," said Vice-President Franco Frattini, EU Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security.

Harsher penalties on employers and more inspections will make European employers more reluctant to hire illegals.

Anyone caught employing illegal immigrants would be banned from taking part in national public procurement contracts or from receiving subsidies for up to five years. The measure would affect farms, for example, that benefit from generous EU or national agriculture subsidies and are caught employing illegal crop pickers.

Companies would also be fined and forced to pay the cost of repatriating illegal migrants to their countries of origin. For more serious abuses such as human trafficking or the repeated employment of illegal workers, EU states could impose jail sentences, though the proposal leaves the length of jail sentences to the discretion of national governments.

Frattini said the legislation would require countries to increase from 2 percent to 10 percent the number of companies they inspect each year for illegal employment.

The Europeans want to cut employer demand for illegal immigrant workers.

As it stands, 19 of the EU's 27 member states have criminal sanctions against those who employ illegal entrants. In the UK, bosses face fines, and a new law will introduce jail terms of up to two years. Commissioner Fratini, however, wants to ensure that errant employers face more consistent penalties, because legislation and enforcement rates vary widely.

Harmonised jail sentences, although being considered, were not touted at the Wednesday announcement.

Behind the proposal is a desire to reduce exploitation of undocumented immigrants and the "pull" factor that drives illegal entry. Mr Frattini also believes that the employment of illegal immigrants distorts competition.

We need more immigration law enforcement against US employers. Also, putting the cost of deportations on employers is an excellent idea. It contrasts with the practice of so many American businesses which increase private profits by socializing costs.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 May 27 09:22 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement

John S Bolton said at May 28, 2007 2:08 AM:

It looks as though the dominant pattern would be that one employer starts using illegals, and draws the others into a competition of that kind.
If they compete in this way, while all of them increasing their margins, or just providing previously uneconomic services,
they camouflage each other in a way.
If they do not increase their profits, then the illegal captures all the value of his production, while getting net public subsidy on top of that:
the worst situation for citizens.
In any case, penalty on employers can break a bad cycle.
One problem here is that the employer is not the aggressor; but the illegal is, when he takes his subsidies,
acting as a receiver of stolen goods.

adrian said at May 28, 2007 3:08 AM:

This is where the much reviled Euro-socialism comes in handy, and where US ultra-capitalism gets in the way. Europe is far more suspicious of the machinations of employers than America is, and these attitudes help in the fight against illegal immigration. America's much freer labour market is much better for illegals than Europe's statism. All Europe really has to do is cut back on migrant welfare payments and they should return home (as there are no jobs, and those that do exist are very protected and difficult to get)

Irish Savant said at May 30, 2007 3:18 PM:

I wouldnt be too enthusiastic. All such EU initiatives founder at the European Court of Human Rights.

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