ICE Director John Morton and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced staggering enforcement statistics for the past year. In addition to a record number of illegal alien removals for fiscal year 2010, since January 2009, ICE has
- conducted 3,200 audits of employers suspected of employing unauthorized immigrants;
- debarred 225 companies and individuals; and
- imposed $50 million in financial sanctions against employers.
Secretary Napolitano reiterated the Administration’s heightened focus on employers, noting the agencies’ approach “has yielded historic results . . . issuing more financial sanctions on employers who knowingly and repeatedly violate immigration law than during the entire previous administration.”
I hesitate to belabor the point, but ICE keeps providing additional opportunity to do so – the current enforcement focus is on employers – the “immigration magnet.” Gone are the days when employers can get away with an “ah shucks, we just haven’t focused our compliance efforts on immigration” response to a Form I-9 audit. Immigration compliance ought to be at the top of every employer’s radar screen.