The proposed bill by the head of the Partido Restauración Nacional faction, legislator Carlos Avendaño, seeks to double the fine for businesses that hire illegals.

The head of the Partido Restauración Nacional faction, legislator Carlos Avendaño

The initiative calls for the fine to go from the current ¢5.172 million colones (US$8,500) to  ¢10.7 million colones (US$17,500), as maximum, having reference to the current base salary of ¢446,200 used for this type of sanction.

According to Avendaño, head of the National Restoration faction, in addition to protecting foreigners from labor exploitation, a loophole is closed for companies to hire foreigners whose criminal records are unknown.

“Fleeing poverty, and situations of conflict, the country has become a focus of migrants, who, given their situation of vulnerability and irregularity, are exposed to conditions of labor exploitation,” he added.

On the other hand, the bill will grant an additional period of up to six months for migrants to be regulated (get legal) without being deported, in those cases that denounce labor exploitation.

Avendaño proposes that the funds raised through the sanctions on employers be directed towards the special fund for human trafficking, with 15% of going to strengthening the Immigration service, allowing it to increase its workplace visits to check passports, residency cards, work permits and any other identification document.