ICE Enforcement Targets Employers: Preventive Actions to Think About


In fiscal year 2010, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") conducted more than 2,200 audits of employers nationwide. In part, as a result, criminal immigration charges were filed against a record 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors.

The charges ranged from misdemeanors, including knowingly hiring unauthorized workers, to felonies as diverse as harboring illegal aliens, filing false tax returns and aiding and abetting identity theft. And there is no sign that this enforcement trend is abating. Rather, all signs point to an increased focus on employers. In particular, employers in industries that historically have had a higher percentage of unauthorized workers; that is, the food, hotel, cleaning services and construction industries are all under scrutiny.

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