Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today commented on a reported $18 million settlement with employees who said that the company hired illegal immigrants to keep wages low.  According to news reports, the settlement affects about 48,000 current and former Mohawk workers. 

            Smith commented on the House floor:

“American workers have just won a great and historic victory.  Employees of Mohawk Industries will share the $18 million that the company agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit accusing it of hiring illegal immigrants in order to hold down wages.  

The settlement comes on the heels of the Obama Administration’s decision to largely abandon enforcement of our immigration laws at America’s workplaces. 

This legal victory gives a valuable tool to other workers who suffer at the hands of employers who want to keep wages low by hiring illegal immigrants.  

If the Obama Administration won’t act to protect American workers, American workers now have the power to protect themselves by filing lawsuits against employers who hire cheap and illegal labor.

If employers continue to break immigration laws, may there be many more such lawsuits.”