Immigration crackdown shifts to employers as audits surge
Washington, D.C.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Data Collection and Unsecured Systems Could Pose Risks to Students
ߦ   Family Dollar clerk in Bacliff catches man exposing himself to girl
ߦ   Galveston Man Arrested for Cruelty to Animals, Tampering with Physical Evidence, & Terroristic Threats
ߦ   Harris County Animal Shelter in need of help amid major occupancy crisis
ߦ   Sheriff Arrest Four of Five for Brazen Aggravated Robbery
ߦ   Another Significant Sentence Imposed for Sexually Exploiting a Child
ߦ   Business Executive Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery Charge in Connection with Venezuelan Bribery Scheme
ߦ   COPLine Volunteer Listeners Training
ߦ   DEA Museum to host lecture series on opioids and heroin
ߦ   Deputy Constable Named Officer Of The Month
ߦ   Former Kentucky Police Officer Sentenced for Wrongful Arrest
ߦ   FOUND SAFE - Endangered Missing Person
ߦ   Galveston areas reporting 2 feet of flood waters
ߦ   Houston Police Dept - Incident Reports
ߦ   Oklahoma Woman Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of Ricin
ߦ   San Antonio commuters urged to plan for flash flooding
ߦ   Search For Car Burglar And Felony Fraud Suspect
ߦ   Suspect Sought For Clean Scanning
ߦ   Tarrant County Man Guilty in East Texas Armed Bank Robberies
ߦ   Texan, Former State Representative, President of College and Consultant Sentenced for Bribery Scheme
ߦ   Uvalde police officer fired after arrest on charge of sexual assault of a child
ߦ   Female Dallas cop who killed man in his home charged with manslaughter
ߦ   Former Texans player accused of stealing from player trust fund
ߦ   Fugitive Lawyer Involved in Largest Social Security Fraud Scheme Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for His Escape and Related Crimes
ߦ   Houston-area bar owners work with police to stop DWI patrons
ߦ   In Memoriam: Greg Bozdech - League City VFD
ߦ   Mexican National Brothers Guilty of Trafficking Firearms in Southeast Texas
ߦ   National police group calls for Nike boycott due to Kaepernick ad campaign
ߦ   Nine Arrests In Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering Scheme
ߦ   Officer fatally shoots woman accused of murdering neighbor at apartments in Missouri City
ߦ   Pflugerville: Join us for Camryn's Relentless Battle fundraiser Sept. 15
ߦ   Reward Offered In Stafford Murder Case
ߦ   Robstown-Based Heroin Leader Heads to Federal Prison
ߦ   State trooper dies after years of battling rare blood cancer
ߦ   Sugar Land Area Drug Bust

 
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
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet  
© 1999-2018 The Police News. All rights reserved.