What could happen if you hire undocumented immigrants?

When you hire a new employee, you must complete the proper paperwork to turn into the government to document this new employee/employer relationship. Part of the documents you need to submit will show the worker’s legal right to work in the U.S. 

If you fail to provide this information, you could end up in trouble for hiring an undocumented worker. Cornell Law School explains that it is against the law to hire a worker who has no legal right to work in the country. 

Mistaken hiring

If you mistakenly hire someone who cannot legally work in the country, then you probably will have little trouble. You can simply let that worker go if he or she does not provide the proper paperwork. However, if you let the worker continue working, then you may face some legal issues. 


Once you know a person is undocumented or does not have the right documents to work in the U.S., you must stop allowing that person to work for you. If you fail to do this, then you break the law and could face penalties. 

You will initially receive an order to stop allowing the worker to work for your company. You may also have to pay a fine between $250 and $10,000, depending on any previous issues you may have had with hiring undocumented workers. You may also have restrictions on your ability to hire new workers and have to report to the government for oversight. 

You may also face criminal penalties if you have repeat issues with hiring undocumented workers. Once the government sees that you keep breaking the law, you could end up with criminal charges, fines and possibly prison time.