Illegal Aliens

A news story today: a hotel in Minneapolis “snitched” on some of its chambermaids, reporting them to the INS. At the time, they were contemplating joining a union because they wanted a 1/2 hour lunch break during their 7 hour shift. Now, 8 of the 16 chambermaids are facing deportation.

The hotel claims that they were just acting on a tip that some of their maids were illegal workers; that they were duped into believing that they were legal.

Now, I don’t doubt that the workers probably offered up some bogus proof of their work status. But the lack of the lunch break seems to indicate that the hotel realized the maids true status. (IIRC, according to federal labor laws, if you work more than 4 hours in a shift, you’re supposed to get at least a 1/2 hour break.) The hotel was also sent regular reports from SSN that some numbers of their employees weren’t matching with their records.

So it seems that there are two wrongs in this case: the maids working illegally in the US, and the hotel for overlooking obvious violations so they could hire cheap help until they started to make noise.

Should the hotel be prosecuted for hiring illegals based on the circumstantial evidence that they did know their status?

Personally, I’d be more inclined to sanction the hotel for (a) denying their employees the breaks they’re entitled to and (b) retaliating against those who tried to form a union … both of which are, last I checked, every bit as illegal as knowingly hiring workers with false documentation.