The object of civil RICO is not merely to compensate victims but to turn them into prosecutors, private attorneys general dedicated to eliminating racketeering activity.
Dec 2 2014
By illegally hiring undocumented alien labor, Colin was able to hire cheaper labor and compete unfairly. The violation of 1324(a) alleged by the complaint was a proximate cause of Colin’s ability to underbid the plaintiffs and take business from them.
Congress, however, criminalized the employment of illegal workers in part to protect legal workers.
Acceptance by illegal aliens of jobs on substandard terms as to wages and working conditions can seriously depress wage scales and working conditions of citizens and legally admitted aliens.
In economic terms, the hiring of undocumented workers produces financial gain for employers when it reduces labor costs… As a result, employers in labor-intensive industries who consistently remain in noncompliance with federal immigration law are able to gain an unfair advantage over business competitors by keeping labor costs artifically low.
The pattern of unenforcement [of immigration laws] and the factors supporting it suggest that public officials hold mixed motives that impair enforcement. A traditional solution to problems of agency capture, or even agency inefficiency, is to deputize private enforcers. Policymakers can change the unenforcement dynamic if they enable those most harmed by illegal employment to participate in enforcement. Congress has created an opportunity for deputization in recent amendments to [RICO], and courts should develop the doctrine to support its use.
This point cannot be emphasized enough: a company not only may be found liable for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers, but under Mendoza, may be found liable if the company knowingly uses somebody else’s unauthorized workers.