One of the strangest claims I’ve heard is that employers prefer to hire illegal immigrants because they don’t have to pay them minimum wage or follow other labor market regulations.  I can imagine this happening under special circumstances (e.g. everyone else on the worksite is illegal, too).  But the key reason why illegal workers earn lower wages has to be that – from employers’ point of view – the risks and hassle of hiring illegal workers outweigh the regulatory burden of hiring legal workers.  That’s why amnesty raises wages of formerly illegal workers.

Question: Have you ever heard of someone pretending to be illegal in order to get a job?  (I do know of one case, but the job only lasted a day).