Is the DHS’ Workplace Enforcement too Lenient?

Is the DHS’ Workplace Enforcement too Lenient?

I-9 complianceThe Orlando Sentinel reported today that critics in the federal government have raised concerns that although the President has heightened immigration enforcement efforts on businesses that are suspected of hiring undocumented immigrants, and despite the fact that the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (USICE) has already conducted more workplace audits of the I-9  (Employment Eligibility Verification) forms, critics feel that the government’s enforcement has been has been too lenient because the number of employers arrested, fined, and sanctioned are dropping.

According to the article, immigrants arrested for lack of documentation proving employment eligibility has dropped from nearly 5,200 in the fiscal year (FY) 2008 to 765 in FY 2010.  However, the number of employers arrested increased from 135 in FY 2008 to 150 in FY 2010 and in the same time period, arrests of undocumented workers dropped from 968 to 208.

The reduction in the number of arrests is due to the government’s increased focus towards employers.  It is still focusing on the workers, but the current enforcement efforts are becoming more effective.

We at Pappas & Associates, P.A. feel that what the critics are not seeing is that in the past, the DHS focused on apprehending as many undocumented workers as possible.  However, a more effective means of enforcing the immigration laws concerning workplace enforcement is for the government to focus on the employers.  What critics should see is that more employers are being held accountable because from an enforcement standpoint, it is the employer who hires the workers, therefore, it is easier to go after the source because if one goes after the worker, more could  and and the number of arrests and fines are increasing.

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