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“Illegal Aliens” in the United States Workforce


The issue of the illegal workforce in the USA is becoming more and more burning, as illegal workers are employed in numerous spheres of life. The fact is that, illegal workers are generally represented by the immigrants from the Third World Countries, and developing regions, consequently, they are of different skin color, shape of the eyes etc. Consequently, the ethic issues will entail not only the norms and conditions of the working environment for the illegal workers, but also the matters of discrimination and segregation, which is not acceptable in the workforce because of numerous reasons.

Situation Analysis

In accordance with the data, provided by the Center for Immigration Studies, it should be indicated that up to 33.1 million immigrants, both legal and illegal live in the USA. Moreover, their rates increase every year, as in average two million immigrants come to the USA yearly. In accordance with the researches, held by the Center for Immigration Studies, the following statement should be emphasized:

The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is two-thirds higher than that of natives and their children, 17.6 percent versus 10.6 percent. Immigrants and their minor children now account for almost one in four persons living in poverty. (Delaet, 2005, p. 456)

In the light of this statement, all the ethical issues, which may be regarded will be closely associated with the poverty, and the factors of unemployment within immigrants. The fact is that, numerous immigrants are employed in the service sphere (chambermaids, janitors, dishwashers, gardeners etc); most of them stay unemployed, or illegally employed, consequently, the employers have no legal and official obligations neither before the State, nor before the employed people. Consequently, all these issues form the basis of the ethical factors, associated with the employment of the illegal workforce.

Ethical Factors

The ethical factors of the illegal workforce are generally associated with the necessity to give work for those who need it, nevertheless, who does not have a right to stay in the USA. Illegal workforce is a lash for the American government; nevertheless, it is one of a few solutions for filling the job lack in the USA, as locals would barely agree to work in the service sector, where immigrants work. Because of the fact, that these workers are illegal, employers agree to hire them, considering the opportunity to avoid paying taxes.

Another factor, which should be emphasized is the shaky position of the illegal workers. They are not employed officially; consequently, their employer may leave them homeless at any moment. Nevertheless, the main concern of the unofficial position of the illegal workers is the fact, that they are the main reason of the increasing crime rates. When they are rejected, or left without a job they resort to the extreme measures for survival.

As for the matters of discrimination and segregation of the racial basis, it should be emphasized that the attitude towards illegal workforce is based precisely on their racial properties, thus, the ethical issues are also closely associated with the matters of discrimination, and the attitude of the employers towards the workers. From the light of this perspective, there is strong necessity to emphasize the statement by Delaet (2005, p. 34):

The number of legal immigrants allowed in each year, the selection criteria used, and the level of resources devoted to controlling illegal immigration are all discretionary policies of the federal government. The numbers discussed in this report represent a policy choice, one that does not have to continue into the indefinite future. It is also important to note that given the sampling and non-sampling error that exists in any survey, the results in this Backgrounder for states and immigrant groups should be interpreted with caution.

Consequently, the necessity to consider the aspects of the racial prejudice originates the review of the ethical problems from a principally new angle. Thus, the racial factors influence the matters of the increased crime rates indirectly. On the other hand, the values of cultural aspects of these immigrants should be considered. They often stay isolated from the contacts with their motherland or their fellow countrymen, consequently, they feel abandoned, and the depression levels increase, which often causes the increased suicide rates within immigrants.

Women Immigrants

Originally, the issues of the women immigration deserve particular attention, as women often come illegally to the USA while pregnant. In accordance with the US legislation, any person, born on the territory of the USA is considered as a US citizen, consequently, all the corresponding rights and privileges should be provided. Nevertheless, there is no any opportunity to use force against pregnant women, as it may be used against illegals. Thus, the possible measures are essentially restricted, and the corresponding assistance should be provided in order to avoid sues, originated by the human rights organizations. In the light of this statement, women – illegal immigrants among the workforce is a real problem, and, from the perspective of ethical issues, the main concerns are originated exactly by the ethical obligations before pregnant women.

On the other hand, immigrants often create families on the territory of the USA. As it is emphasized by Haines and Rosenblum (2004, p. 145):

With that illegal immigrants are now forming their families her in the U.S., raising the issue of birthright citizenship and the question of whether the children of illegal immigrants should be granted U.S. citizenship solely because they were born on American soil.

Therefore, both variants of illegal employment of immigrant women presuppose the particular obligations of the Government before them in the case of pregnancy. On the one hand, all the ethical requirements are satisfied, as these women are granted proper medical service, on the other hand, such an outcome may cause legal problems for an employer, thus, most employers discourage pregnancies among their illegal workers, and may claim for an abortion. As for the ethical issues of abortions, these are obvious.

Positive Factors

Originally, the positive outcomes of the discussed ethical issues are not numerous, nevertheless, they deserve their part of attention. Illegal workers are often united by the common needs, concerns and indigence. Thus, they are aiming to keep together, help each other and acquire the necessary survival skills. Thus, they create definite cultural groups, and develop their own particularities. On the other hand, their children will have all the required experience of survival and living in general, thus, they will be more independent and successful, in comparison with the successors of the native Americans.


The ethical issues of illegal workforce are closely linked with the numerous matters, such as labor legislation, illegal immigration, and increased crime rates among immigrants. On the other hand, these issues touch upon the factors of discrimination, abortions and increased poverty, nevertheless, the positive moments of the ethical side form the unique experience, which will be useful for the further survival of these immigrants and their successors in this world.


Delaet, D. L. (2005). U.S. Immigration Policy in the USA. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Haines, D. W. & Rosenblum, K. E. (Eds.). (2004). Illegal Immigration in America: A Reference Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.


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