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How big brands pretend they don't exploit undocumented workers

See, this is a serious problem. Anger against undocumented immigrants for taking "white folks" jobs is a crock, especially when the employers can treat people any way they want. Lock they crooked asses up too!


Twice a month, her wages—$11.50 an hour—were loaded onto an electronic pay card that she’d been given. The card was stamped with somebody else’s name: “M Hernandez Cleme.”

Lopez didn’t ask questions. As an undocumented immigrant, she’d learned long ago to accept all kinds of oddities and indignities at work. Then earlier this year, the pay card stopped working. She complained to her boss and, eventually, got a new one. This one had no name on it. Lopez lost several weeks’ pay in the transition, she said, but her boss told her she could gripe all she wanted—no one would listen. She’d been working under the name of a person who’d come and gone long ago, she recalled him saying, so there would never be any record that she’d even picked up a broom on this job.  

Big companies like Target use contractors and subcontractors to maintain a shred of plausible deniability that they know about the undocumented workers in their stores, and in those arrangements, vulnerable immigrants are routinely hired—and exploited—and then cut loose when there’s unwanted attention.

In effect, it’s a free pass for abusive companies (which is basically all of them); as long as the highest levels of the company can claim not to have 100 percent definitely known that they were hiring undocumented workers, there are no real penalties. For the company. For the workers, it’s a different story.


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