President Trump's harsh position on illegal and legal immigration might result in some unintended consequences for employers moving forward. And it could cause their stance on immigration to soften.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, there have been a rising number of cases in California of immigrant workers complaining about their employers because they've been threatening to report them to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over worker disputes or working conditions, such as wage theft and taking sick days.
In one lawsuit, a worker confronted his boss after six days of not being paid after an initial agreement in which he would tile a bathroom and stucco the walls and get paid $150 per day at the end of each workday. After the confrontation, the worker was called a "wetback" and threatened with deportation.
Many people point to President Trump as the source of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the United States at least since he announced his intention to run for president in June 2015. And for a majority of voters who support President Trump's stance and policies on curbing both legal and illegal immigration, it might cost them down the road.
If President Trump has his way and is able to deport virtually all 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, then that would create a dearth of possible workers and cheap labor that many employers in the United States can take advantage of. They'll soon find that they actually benefitted greatly from illegal immigration. The concept of holding someone's immigration status hostage will be lost as leverage. They'll no longer be able to depreciate wages or even engage in the immoral practice of wage theft, and, in the end, will have to hire American, which comes at a higher price and could diminish profit margins.
As we move closer to March and the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, President Trump has a chance to grant amnesty to 800,000 children and young adults who came to the United States as minors in exchange for funding for the border wall. And Congress has a chance to pass the RAISE Act to curb both legal and illegal immigration.
If that happens, his base would certainly be riled up, and the president will receive praise for keeping another promise. But what might be an immigration win in their book could end up being a hit to the economy for everyone.
Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.