Obama administration extends crackdown on companies' illegal hires

The Obama administration recently notified 500 U.S. companies that the government will inspect their hiring records, resuming a crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The boost in audits is the first in the government's new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. During the previous fiscal year, the U.S. audited 2,496 companies compared with 2,196 during the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Inspecting employee records in industries such as food service and construction, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits can have severe consequences, causing companies to lose large numbers of workers, as well as face lower productivity and significant legal fees. Companies can be fined, barred from competing for government contracts and face criminal charges for knowingly hiring illegal workers and evading taxes.

About 11 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S., and about two-thirds are employed. To obtain jobs, workers often use a fake Social Security number or identity of a legal resident or citizen.

Since January 2009, ICE has audited more than 5,909 employers suspected of hiring illegal immigrants and has imposed more than $72 million in sanctions.

Date : 11/18/2011