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CRS: Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures, Andorra Bruno, Specialist in Immigration Policy, August 7, 2013

“In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new guidance on immigration related worksite enforcement. Under the guidelines, DHS “will use all available civil and administrative tools, including civil fines and debarment, to penalize and deter illegal employment.” According to 2010 estimates, there are some 8.0 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian labor force. DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA Section 274A provisions, sometimes referred to as employer sanctions, make it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire, recruit or refer for a fee, or continue to employ an alien who is not authorized to be so employed. Today, ICE’s worksite enforcement program is focused primarily on cases that involve critical infrastructure facilities and cases involving employers who commit “egregious violations” of criminal statutes and engage in worker exploitation. Employers who violate INA prohibitions on the unlawful employment of aliens may be subject to civil monetary penalties and/or criminal penalties. Criminal investigations may result in defendants being charged with crimes beyond unlawful employment and being subject to the relevant penalties for those violations.”

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