Illegal Aliens:

Information on Selected Countries' Employment Prohibition Laws

GGD-86-17BR: Published: Oct 28, 1985. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO updated a 1982 report on laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal aliens in selected countries. GAO developed a questionnaire to survey nine of these countries and Hong Kong to determine their present experience with employer sanction laws.

Hong Kong and eight of the nine countries responded to the questionnaire. GAO noted that most of the countries reported that employer sanction laws helped to deter illegal alien employment. GAO found that: (1) the laws were a moderate or great deterrent in five of the countries surveyed and Hong Kong; (2) two countries that had reported in 1982 that their laws were not effective now report that they are effective; (3) three countries reported that their laws were less of a deterrent now because of various problems with enforcing the laws; (4) Hong Kong and six of the countries reported that if they had not enacted employer sanction laws, the problem of aliens working illegally would be greater than it is; and (5) two countries reported that the problem would be about the same without the enacted laws. GAO also found that from 1981 through September 1985, the estimated number of aliens working illegally: (1) decreased in Hong Kong and one country; (2) remained about the same in three countries; and (3) increased in four countries. All the respondents reported that little or no discrimination against citizens or legal aliens had resulted from employer sanction laws.

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