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Are Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Minimum Wage?

Legal Rights

Immigration rights change depending on the legality of the immigrant in question. Due to the fact that illegal immigrants are undocumented, they cannot get jobs unless they are under the table or nontaxable. Minimum wage, which is the lowest amount of money that an American citizen can legally be employed for on an hourly basis, varies state to state. Since illegal immigrants must work jobs that they are unlawfully able to have in the first place, employers who hire them do not feel the need to pay them minimum wage, knowing that no legal complaint can be made on the part of the illegal immigrant.

Few immigration rights exist for the benefits of illegal immigrants. Generally, equality does not enter in to the picture with illegal immigrant rights. Illegal immigrants are forced to maintain a low profile in the workforce and have no entitlement to the most basic employment rights. An illegal immigrant is not going to file suit against an employer for bad treatment and low pay. When it comes to immigration rights, there are arguments both for and against giving illegal immigrants the legal right to make a minimum hourly wage.

Immigration rights draw a good deal of debate from the American public. Sociologists often study the effect that immigration - legal or illegal - have on society. Certain statistics even show that illegal immigration may help the middle and upper classes financially. Yet, the fundamental argument exists that the more jobs illegal immigrants hold, the less jobs are made available for American citizens.

Currently, there exist millions of unemployed American citizens that are actively seeking employment. Due to the current economic crisis in the United States, many people are taking jobs that they are over-qualified for; in turn, the younger or inexperienced workers that once filled these low-level or mid-entry jobs must now compete with these people for work. The average state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

It is argued that because a minimum wage is not protected under illegal immigrant rights, these low level jobs are handed to illegal immigrants who are willing to get a flat pay of as little as $2 per hour, on average. Because of this, the working class and the working poor are said to be more likely to remain unemployed.

Roughly 28% of illegal immigrants live in poverty, with an additional 46% living near the poverty income line. On one hand, supporters of immigration rights say that every human in America has the right to receive a livable wage for the work they do. On the other hand, the term livable wage can be relative depending upon a person’s expenses, living situation and location.

Those who believe that illegal immigration rights should be non-existent feel that giving illegal immigrants a federal minimum wage would be legally acknowledging and rewarding an individual who is breaking the law.

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