While much of the focus on illegal immigration has been focused on border control, drivers licenses and day labor sites built at taxpayer expense for a largely illegal group of users another potential powderkeg has emerged in the form of workers compensation benefits.
The Maryland Court of Appeals with a six to one vote has just ruled that illegal immigrants are covered by state law that covers on-the-job injuries even if they are not lawfully employed. The majority opinion said that the law specifies that “any uncertainty in the law should be resolved in the favor of the claimant.” The uncertainty arose because state law mentions granting minors who are illegally employed and not adults. The court has now interpreted a law that was meant to protect minors from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers and extended it to cover illegal immigrants.
What will this cost Maryland taxpayers? The state has already spent nearly $1.5 million in benefits for 192 workers without social security numbers in the last two years alone. With this ruling the floodgates are bound to open as the illegal immigrant population continues to grow and as these individuals continue to take on increasingly risky jobs.
Check your state laws on this issue, you may be surprised to find that they also cover illegal immigrants in some form.