Make a Change

What "Common Sense" Steps could our government take to stop the business practice of using an illegal labor force (foreign workers paid in cash)

  • Get Florida's Division of Workman's Comp Compliance to DO THEIR JOB!!! I'm sorry, but the investigators who work at these American taxpayer funded jobs, have to be some of the laziest people in a governmental job. Their job is not threatened, like ours, because of this. These investigators very rarely go out on a jobsite to check ID's of workers, and cross reference them with Workman's Comp monthly reports, quarterly employer's reports, or quarterly unemployment reports. They don't shut jobs down when they should. They don't inflict hefty fines for each infraction like they should. No, they're happy with certificates of insurance. I swear, I think these people are afraid of paperwork. Why don't they come out here in the hot sun, bust their butts to make a buck, worry about somebody else taking their jobs illegally, and maybe they will see what "real" work and stress is.
  • Most of the new construction, at least here in South Florida, is for the richest of the rich who live in gated communities. A law should be passed that states that all gated communities with a guard shack can only admit people with state issued ID's. Make it so these gated communities cannot just accept passports, out of state ID's, out of country ID's, or cheap ID's. They must have a state issued ID or drivers license for every person in every vehicle. It should not be just the driver showing ID. That would seriously slow down this illegal activity. How many of you in construction, that have worked in a gated community with strict entry rules (like running background checks, and requiring that everyone in a vehicle has to show an ID), have seen a vehicle turned away that has a bunch of people in it, because no one can produce an ID? Not even the driver has an ID. The best gated community that I've ran into in South Florida, is Frenchman's Creek on Donald Ross Road, but even they still accept out of state and out of country ID's and passports.
  • Make all these immigrants get state issued ID's or drivers licenses. They must show proof of "legal employment" with Social Security, Medicare, and taxes withheld. They can prove this by producing copies of employers' quarterly UTC-6's or employers' quarterly unemployment reports (with the other employees' names and SS#'s blackened out), or a notorized letter from their employer. Any employer who would falsify records or fake paperwork for the immigrant would have to be dealt federal charges and given a massive fine for each infraction to deter fraud. Make these immigrant ID's last only three to six months to make sure they still have legal employment. Make these immigrants pay a fee each time to renew their ID's.
  • Remember in the last year or two, our Florida government has made their own citizens jump through hoops to get their licenses renewed. They said it was to help the immigration problem. All it did was help to take our money, while doing nothing to help the immigration problem. Remember, you had to go get a certified birth certificate for around $14.00. How many millions of American citizens are in Florida? How many millions of dollars did our state make with that fiasco? How many American jobs did this protect? I swear, I think all of our political leaders should have to take IQ tests and make the results public knowledge.
  • Since most of this problem is with small subcontractors paying all their workers in cash, make it harder for them to cash their checks. Make a law that beer stores and check cashing outlets can no longer cash a check written to a company, period. Make it where companies have to be incorporated (no more DBA's), they have to have a bank account for their company, and they have to cash or deposit checks made out to their company at their bank. Also, if a check is written out to an individual, over a certain amount, that individual should not be allowed to cash a check at check cashing outlets. He would have to cash the check at a bank where he has an account. These check cashing outlets are the illegal subcontractor and his workers' best friend. Especially on Fridays.
  • Someone in our government has to hold the main contractors on all jobs accountable, whether they are commercial or residential jobs. Otherwise, you will not fix this problem. Most of these main contractors have flourished in these dire economic times, because of not being held accountable. They can hire all these subcontractors who subcontract all their labor out to these little illegal entities. The main contractors who use these "crushers of the American economy" always play "dumb". They say that their subcontractors supply them with contractors licenses and certificates of insurance, that's all they are required, by law, to get from their subs, the lesser subs are the main subs problem. That's why the main contractors have to be held accountable!!!

  • Our government needs to start inflicting hefty fines for each infraction to the main contractors and shut these non-compliant jobs down for longer and longer periods of time for each additional infraction. Also, send notice to the owner of the jobs with the infractions, fines imposed and (this is the most important part) how long of a duration that the progress on their home or business has come to a screeching end. No more playing "dumb" and hopefully no more using that particular sub.
  • These small subcontractors that work under the umbrella of another subcontractor, don't seem to have a contractors license. Why do we, American citizens, have to have a contractor's license, especially to do structural work, but these unregulated subcontractors who are breaking a lot of construction industry laws, immigration laws, tax laws, insurance laws, etc., get to get away with this? The bigger licensed subcontractor is supplying a superintendent to oversee the smaller unlicensed subcontractor. This is a loophole in our construction industry.

    There are even licensed contractors, American citizens, that are pimping out their contractors license and insurance to some of these little illegal subcontractors. In this case the insurance gets paid, but nobody is checking to see if the Social Security, the Medicare, the unemployment, and the personal taxes are being paid. I'll give you one guess, they're not! They go to their beer store or check cashing outlet, and hand out cash to all their workers.

    Enforce the construction industry laws that any company doing construction, either contractor or subcontractor, has to have a contractor's license to do business. Make it so if a licensed contractor or subcontractor wants to supply a superintendent to oversee a lesser unlicensed subcontractor, that's all fine and dandy, but make it so the workers of those supervised unlicensed subcontractors are now the employees of the licensed contractor or licensed subcontractors. Those workers are now the total responsibility of the licensed contractor or licensed subcontractor. No more loopholes. The licensed contractor/subcontractor is now responsible, on record, for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment tax, overtime, taxes withheld and Workman's Compensation Insurance for all those workers. Whoever is going to investigate these companies for licensing should be able to coordinate with the Division of Workman's Comp Compliance to see records of who's getting paid.
If anyone has better ideas on how to remedy this problem, please comment.


A los trabajadores hispanos de estas compañías

(To the hispanic workers of these companies)

De todos los trabajadores que yo he visto en los últimos 30 años en el campo de la construcción, los trabajadores hispanos son los que más se esfuerzan y que más ética tienen haciendo su labor. De hecho, la mayoría de mis trabajadores son hispanos y ellos son mis favoritos. El problema es que las compañías para las cuales muchos hispanos trabajan están haciendo algo completamente ilegal en nuestro país. Estas compañías están quitándoles trabajos a ciudadanos norteamericanos al no pagar lo que se suponen que estén pagando. Yo he escuchado historias de cómo algunos trabajadores hispanos trabajan por tres semanas sin recibir su paga y muchas veces nunca reciben su dinero porque están aquí ilegalmente y no pueden ir a quejarse por ese atropello ante las autoridades. Nosotros no estamos tratando de quitarles su trabajo; simplemente estamos tratando de que estas compañías sigan las reglas del juego para que sea justo para todos nosotros.