Feds Target Companies Hiring Illegals

Thursday, 20 Jan 2011 01:09 PM

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Employers will increasingly become the targets of a growing Obama administration crackdown on workplaces that hire illegal immigrants, the Wall Street Journal reports. Fines against businesses, already on the rise, could increase along with criminal prosecutions of employers under a new program that will comb through companies’ payroll records.

Critics say small employers are taking the brunt of this new push. But the chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, said, “We wouldn’t be limited by the size of a company.”

Under the Bush administration, raids focused primarily on arresting and deporting workers. The Obama policy will be to conduct so-called “silent raids” of companies’ employment records, fire every illegal immigrant in the workplace, and then decide what penalties the companies face.

Businesses already hit with audits — including garment makers and food processors — say that even in a distressed economy they have trouble finding Americans willing to take the jobs left open by the firings.

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