President Trump’s administration is sending a loud and clear message to sanctuary city employers. Don’t even think about hiring illegal immigrants. Sooner, rather than later, you are going to get caught and heavily penalized. An explosion in the number of documentation audits is designed to remind businesses of the forgotten 1986 federal law requiring all employers to verify that every applicant has the proper identity and work authorization.
The Homeland Security Investigations unit of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) wants all employers, large and small, to have a “reasonable expectation” that they will go under the microscope eventually. “I think it’s a game-changer,” Derek Benner assures. Massive immigration crackdowns are finally fostering a “culture of compliance.”
Liberal “progressive” Democrats under Barack Obama totally ignored federal law (they did it under Kennedy and Johnson too, during the Civil Rights movement), allowing under the table jobs to become the biggest factor driving the flood of illegal crossings.
Benner explains that when companies hire illegal workers, they gain an unfair economic advantage over the companies who follow the rules.
Also, it “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.”
By law, employers submitting bogus information are fined and sometimes even criminally prosecuted, but only the most blatant violators were punished by Obama, and only when he absolutely had to.
Warnings and repeated extensions to “correct” deficiencies were the standard Obama way to kick the can without actually doing anything.
To make things worse, Obama was sure to get the word out that there was a magic phrase designed to snarl the system for years. “Ask for asylum.”
Not anymore. Under President Trump, just because the country you come from is economically disadvantaged and the gangs outnumber the soldiers in a socialist utopia does not mean your life is in danger. You can’t stay here in the shadows just because we have a higher standard of living.
Last month, 97 meatpacking workers were arrested in a Tennessee plant, with a helicopter circling above.
The “high profile show of force” was fully intended to be intimidating and the heat is going to stay on until all the illegals are out of the kitchens. The level of “workplace enforcement” is about to go up by “four or five times,” ICE’s chief administrator promises.
A new Employer Compliance Inspection Center will allow one central clearinghouse to audit employers coast to coast, rather than the hodgepodge of regional offices which currently enforce the law.
Acting Director Thomas Homan notes that in October, he vowed to open “a new front in an immigration crackdown,” promising to boost deportations by 40 percent. The number crunchers say he is keeping that promise, and then some.
Since the beginning of October, the number of audits went up 60 percent for a total of 2,282 opened through May 4. Many of those probes were the result of “employee interviews at about 100 7-Eleven franchises in 17 states.”
Altogether in that time frame, 594 employers were dragged away in handcuffs.
Civil immigration charges show a corresponding spike with 610 civil cases having been filed in six months, compared with 172 in the entire year before that.
ICE is on track to process about 5,000 audit cases this year but the new central processing center will be a huge help, Benner insists. By electronically scanning documents into a single location the numbers should go way up. The goal is to get the number of nationwide audits up to around 15,000 a year.
The center will house around 250 auditors under one roof, combined with “the right technology and a team of attorneys to quickly levy fines.”
It will be a lot easier to flag activity that looks fishy. Instead of sending notices out by hand delivery, electronic or certified mailings can be used. The worst offenders can be prosecuted by the existing regional offices.
Immigration officials are hoping that the E-verify system will gain universal acceptance. Created in 1996 by Congress, it allows employers to check eligibility status as easily as doing a credit card transaction.
Because the program remains “optional,” sanctuary employers have been fiercely grasping onto the outdated paper methods.
E-verify is 99.7 percent accurate, it’s free, and it produces an answer in less than five seconds, but nobody is using it. If they did, all of the forgeries and bogus documents would become toilet paper. E-verify renders “counterfeit and stolen documents useless.”
With the paper verification process, it is much harder to spot counterfeit or stolen social security cards, driver’s licenses and other identity documents.
According to Robert Law, director of government relations at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, “E-verify will end the lure of jobs that entices visitors to overstay their visas in the first place, while also dissuading those who might still try to illegally cross our borders for work.”
The most “effective and humane” thing we can do is “convince people there is no benefit” in breaking the law. “When we finally shut off the magnet that draws workers here, we’ll also shut off much of the flow.”
Not only that, there is an upside for U.S. Citizens. More jobs. Making E-verify mandatory instead of optional “would open the golden door of opportunity to many of America’s most disadvantaged workers who have been systematically pushed out of the workforce by widespread illegal immigration.”