In 2009, ICE announced its new worksite enforcement policy targeting employers, rather than undocumented workers. Results for 2010 are in. It appears that the government is applying this policy with full force. In a statement before Congress released on October 12, 2011, John Morton, Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported results for 2010. Morton said that in 2010, ICE arrested 195 employers for criminal worksite immigration violations. Under the April 30, 2009 ICE Enforcement Memo, targeted employer are defined as “owners, corporate managers, supervisors,” and “someone involved in the hiring or management of employees. This includes owners, CEOs, supervisors, managers, and other occupational titles.” Morton said that in 2010, ICE made employers pay over 45 million dollars, including 9 million dollars in agency fines and 36.6 million dollars in judicial fines, forfeitures, and restitutions. Specifically, Morton’s statement before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement: "Oversight Hearing on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Priorities and the Rule of Law" contained the following language under the “Worksite Enforcement” heading:
“As part of its immigration enforcement efforts, ICE has been pursuing a comprehensive worksite enforcement strategy to deter unlawful employment and drive a culture of compliance with the nation’s immigration-related employment laws. The Administration is focused on conducting criminal investigations and prosecuting employers who exploit or abuse their employees and those who have a history of knowingly and repeatedly employing an illegal workforce.
Our strategy has been designed to: (1) penalize employers who hire illegal workers; (2) deter employers who are tempted to hire illegal workers; and (3) encourage all employers to take advantage of easy to use and well-crafted compliance tools.
The success of our approach is evident in the statistics. As of September 17, 2011, ICE has initiated 3,015 investigations, which is 154 percent more than in all of FY 2008. In FY 2010, ICE arrested 196 employers for criminal worksite-related immigration violations, surpassing the previous high of 135 arrests in FY 2008. So far in FY 2011, ICE has also issued a record 2,393 notices of inspection, a more than a 375 percent increase from the number issued in all of FY 2008. This year, ICE has issued 331 final orders totaling $9 million in fines levied on employers compared to 18 final orders issued totaling $675,000 in FY 2008. In addition, FY 2010 (do you mean FY2011?) worksite investigations resulted in a record $36.6 million in judicial fines, forfeitures, and restitutions.”
Link to the full statement is available HERE.
Mira Mdivani, Corporate Immigration Attorney, the Mdivani Law Firm President, Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute