Immigration crackdown shifts to employers as audits surge
Washington, D.C.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Constables Arrest FBI Wanted Fugitive
ߦ   Mortgage Fraudster Caused Victims to Lose Out on Dream of Homeownership
ߦ   Mother Arrested After 2 Year Old Daughter Found Wandering Alone
ߦ   Street Racers Jailed After Pursuit
ߦ   Texas Resident Heads to Prison for Using a Firearm to Rob Local Whataburger
ߦ   Wife of Orlando Police Officer Valencia: Prayers Work, Kevin is Coming Back
ߦ   The Deprived - Innocent on Death Row
ߦ   National Crime Victims Rights Week
ߦ   "Wing Stop Robbery Crew" Sentenced for Roles in Multiple Armed Crimes Committed Within Two Weeks
ߦ   Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon – Family Violence
ߦ   Calif. LE says governor's halt on death penalty is an insult to victims
ߦ   Calif. university students call for disarming campus police
ߦ   Chinese National Who Threatened to Shoot School Children Sentenced to Prison
ߦ   Colorado trooper struck, killed by vehicle during blizzard
ߦ   Convicted Felon Handed Federal Prison Term for Illegal Firearms Charge
ߦ   Daily Bulletin
ߦ   Ex-Bank Vice President Convicted of Bank Embezzlement/Fraud
ߦ   Fatal Train Pedestrian Accident
ߦ   FBI Seeks "Routine Robber" for Two Houston Bank Robberies
ߦ   Former Supervisor at Louisiana Correctional Facility Pleads Guilty to Violating Civil Rights of Five Inmates
ߦ   Galveston Police Officer Arrested
ߦ   Local Man Sentenced for Fraud and ID Theft
ߦ   Man faces Murder charge in Pleak shooting
ߦ   Police arrest dad who brought AK-47 Mini Draco to school
ߦ   Richmond PD Hosting Coffee with a Cop Program
ߦ   Robstown Man Receives Significant Sentence for Child Pornography Conviction
ߦ   Special Crime Alert

 
Search Archives:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigration officials have sharply increased audits of companies to verify that their employees are authorized to work in the country, signaling the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration is reaching deeper into the workplace to create a “culture of compliance” among employers who rely on immigrant labor.

Expansive plans also have been drafted for a long-term push to scrutinize employers’ hiring practices more closely.

Under a 1986 federal law, companies must verify their employees are authorized to work in the United States by reviewing their documents and verifying to the government the employees’ identity and work authorization. If employers are found to hire someone without proper documents, the employers may be subject to administrative fines and, in some cases, criminal prosecution.

The recent focus on employers comes after a surge of deportation arrests of workers that started immediately after Trump took office in January 2017. The crackdown is likely to please immigration hawks among Trump’s supporters but may alienate industries and companies that rely on immigrant labor.

There were 2,282 employer audits opened between Oct. 1 and May 4, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday, nearly a 60 percent jump from the 1,360 audits opened between October 2016 and September 2017. Many of those reviews were launched following the January ICE audits and employee interviews at about 100 7-Eleven franchises in 17 states.

There were 594 employers arrested on criminal immigration charges from Oct. 1 to May 4, up from 139 during the previous fiscal year, and 610 civil immigration charges during the same period, compared to 172 in the preceding 12-months.

Derek Benner, head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, told The Associated Press that another nationwide wave of audits planned this summer would push the total “well over” 5,000 by Sept 30. ICE audits peaked at 3,127 in 2013.

The agency has developed a plan to open as many as 15,000 audits a year, subject to funding and support for the plan from other areas of the administration, Benner said.

The proposal calls for creation of an Employer Compliance Inspection Center to perform employer audits at a single location instead of at regional offices around the country, Benner said. Electronically scanning the documents will help flag suspicious activity, and the most egregious cases will be farmed out to regional offices for more investigation. Audit notices will be served electronically or by certified mail, instead of in person.

Benner said that putting up to 250 auditors in one center with the right technology and a team of attorneys to quickly levy fines would enable his agency to audit between 10,000 and 15,000 companies annually.

The proposal aims to create a “reasonable expectation” among employers that they will be audited, Benner said.

“This is kind of our vision of creating this culture of compliance,” he said. “I think it’s a game-changer.”

In October, Thomas Homan, ICE’s acting director, pledged to increase workplace enforcement by “four or five times,” opening a new front in an immigration crackdown that includes a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests and initial funding for a border wall with Mexico. In April, ICE agents made 97 arrests at a meatpacking plant in rural Tennessee with a helicopter flying above, reminiscent of the high-profile shows of force that were common during President George W. Bush’s administration.

Benner said the agency will focus both on criminal cases against employers as well deporting employees who in the country illegally. Illegal hiring creates unfair advantages for companies, encourages people to come to the U.S. illegally, results in document and identity fraud and exposes workers to potentially dangerous conditions without overtime pay or health insurance, he said.

It remains to be seen whether immigration authorities can perform enough audits to compel a similar degree of compliance that the Internal Revenue Service does on personal and corporate tax returns. One measure may be the number of employees who voluntarily enroll in the federal government’s E-Verify system to electronically confirm if a person is authorized to work in the U.S.

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
© 1999-2019 The Police News. All rights reserved.