I have previously discussed that legal immigrants can sue if they are not paid a fair wage. The situation is a bit tricky for those of you who are in the United States illegally. Many unauthorized immigrants deliberately take on jobs that do not pay a fair wage because they do not have the relevant work permits or authentic Social Security numbers. In such jobs it is common for employers to not report these employees on the payroll by paying the wages in cash (also called working under the table in the language of immigrants); thus, they do not pay what they owe to the IRS. It also accomplishes yet another goal of immigrants: not to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service either because they hate paying taxes or because they are afraid that following the law will create a paper trail that will come to haunt them (though, it is also widely known in the community of illegal immigrants that by filing a fraudulent tax return with non-existent dependent children, they can actually get child tax credit (which by the way is illegal and can cause a lot of trouble if you ever try to legalize your status).
So what can you do if you are not underpaid or not paid at all for work done? According to the law, your legal status does not matter as far as getting paid for work. After all this is America and we are a nation of laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows you to ask for at least the minimum hourly wage and overtime. So if you are in a situation like this one, make sure that you hire an attorney to sue the employer. Make sure that when you work, you keep a record of your work even if the employer employs you off the books. Your attorney will advise you if it is a good idea to sue to because by coming forward you are also making yourself vulnerable to being caught for breaking laws like not filing taxes or using stolen SSN.