You will incur legal risks if your contractor uses illegal aliens on your residential remodel or addition.

Since a 2004 case involving Wal-Mart’s hiring of an independent contractor that used illegial aliens for janitorial services, the full impact of the Immigration and Reform and Control Act of 1986 has become very clear. Simply put, it is against the law to hire an illegal alien, whether you hire the individual directly or indirectly through an independent contractor.

If you hire a contractor who uses illegal immigrants, both you and the contractor will be in violation of this law. Both the contractor and you incur legal risk by doing so, and you could be subject to costly fines.

The federal government requires anyone who hires an alien worker to obtain, update, and retain a form I-9 for each legal alien worker. When you hire a contractor or subcontractor, you should discuss the issue of hiring illegal aliens.

You have the right to inspect the I-9 form for each alien who will work on your home. You should also insist upon including a paragraph in your contract with every contractor or subcontractor stating that the contractor will not employ illegal aliens on the job, will take all appropriate steps to obey all immigration regulations, obtain and verify I-9 forms for all alien workers, and that the contractor will accept all liability and pay all fines that could arise from failure to do so.

Since you will probably have your attorney review your contract before you sign it, this is something you will want to have your attorney review carefully for the appropriate legal terminology to absolve you of legal risk.