Going Gets Tough for Hiring Illegals

Going Gets Tough  for Hiring IllegalsGoing Gets Tough  for Hiring Illegals

Identification of foreign nationals who work illegally in Tehran has started. The move is to prevent unauthorized employment of foreign nationals who take the place of local job seekers, said Ahmad Lotfinezhad, provincial director general of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Welfare.

“Employers violating the law will have to pay a heavy penalty, five-fold the amount of minimum wage for each day,” the Persian language newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad, quoted him as saying.

Iran welcomes skilled foreign workers in areas where their services are required, but they must have a work permit, he added.

The main problems caused by unskilled workers and illegal migrants are “lost jobs, depreciated wages, and higher rate of crimes.”

All nations have immigration and border laws designed to protect their citizens, Lotfinezhad pointed out. Foreign nationals whose services are required will receive work authorization cards, he said.

According to the Interior Ministry, currently there are 840,000 legal migrants living and working in the country. The number of illegals has been estimated between 600,000 and 800,000.

 Low Wages

Illegal migrants have an adverse impact on wages and employment opportunities for the national workforce. As most of them are not in an economically viable situation, they accept low-wage jobs in hazardous conditions and without health insurance coverage; therefore employers prefer to hire them instead of Iranians.

It is found that illegal workers are coming not only from neighboring countries Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also from far away places like Bangladesh, Lotfinezhad said.

Besides Tehran, illegal workers are also employed in other big cities like Mashhad, Isfahan and Shiraz, where in most manufacturing units Afghan and Pakistani workers are employed. Not only have the jobs been usurped by foreign workers, their influx has led to a depreciation in wages so much so that Iranian workers are not prepared to work for such low incomes.

Earlier, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli had said each day 2000 illegal entrants are deported. However, many of them return through the long and porous borders with neighboring countries.