Susan Martin, PhD, Donald G. Herzberg Associate Professor of International Migration at Georgetown University, B. Lindsay Lowell, PhD, Director of Policy Studies of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, and Micah Bump, MA, Research Associate at the same institute, in an Oct. 2007 Institute for the Study of International Migration study titled "Worksite Solutions to Unauthorized Migration," offered the following information:

“Employers who violate IRCA’s [Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986] verification provisions face different civil and/or criminal penalties, known as employer sanctions, depending on whether they committed paperwork violations or knowingly hired unauthorized workers… It is clear that there are categories of employers who still do not understand their obligations with regards to the worksite verification process. The level of confusion and willingness to learn the requirements appear to be somewhat correlated to the time necessary for work verification to be made and the level of employer involvement in the decision-making. The longer the process, the more paperwork required, and the more decisions that have to be made by the employer, the more likely an employer will be confused, reluctant to participate, disposed to committing an error, or simply motivated to game the system by accepting false documentations or opting out altogether.

There are employers who inadvertently hire unauthorized workers but do not predicate their business model on using such workers… There are also employers who comply with I-9 verification process but who are happy to have unauthorized workers as long as they have plausible deniability. Some employers knowingly hire unauthorized workers because they are the only available workforce or in order to exploit them. Yet other employers attempt to shield themselves from liability by shifting to labor subcontractors instead of directly hiring their employees.”

Oct. 2007