DHS press release about new enforcement guidelines

Thanks to Risk & Insurance Magazine: here is how DHS summarizes its change of policy towards more focus on employers:
Fact Sheet
April 30, 2009
Contact: DHS Press Office, 202-282-8010
Worksite Enforcement Strategy
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a vital responsibility to enforce
the law and engage in effective worksite enforcement to reduce the demand for
illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation’s lawful
workforce.
An effective, comprehensive worksite enforcement strategy must address both
employers who knowingly hire illegal workers as well as the workers themselves.
Of the more than 6,000 arrests related to worksite enforcement in 2008, only 135
were employers.
This week, updated worksite enforcement guidance was distributed to
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which reflects a renewed
Department-wide focus targeting criminal aliens and employers who cultivate
illegal workplaces by breaking the country’s laws and knowingly hiring illegal
workers.
Effective immediately, ICE will focus its resources in the worksite enforcement
program on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal
workers in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration.
ICE will continue to arrest and process for removal any illegal workers who are
found in the course of these worksite enforcement actions in a manner consistent
with immigration law and DHS priorities. Furthermore, ICE will use all available
civil and administrative tools, including civil fines and debarment, to penalize and
deter illegal employment.
ICE officers will be held to high investigative standards including:
ICE will look for evidence of the mistreatment of workers, along with
evidence of trafficking, smuggling, harboring, visa fraud, identification
document fraud, money laundering, and other such criminal conduct.
ICE offices will obtain indictments, criminal arrest or search warrants, or a
commitment from a U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) to prosecute the
targeted employer before arresting employees for civil immigration
violations at a worksite.
Existing humanitarian guidelines will remain in effect, impacting worksite
enforcements involving 25 or more illegal workers. This reflects a change from
the previous threshold of 150.
DHS is committed to providing employers with the most up-to-date and effective
resources to comply with our nation’s laws.
DHS will continue to work with partners in the public and private sectors to
maintain a legal workforce through training and employee verification tools like
E-verify, which improve the accuracy of determinations of employment eligibility
and combat illegal employment
As a former border state Governor, Napolitano signed into law one of the toughest
employer sanctions laws in the country in 2007 to target employers who
knowingly hired illegal workers.

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