How a Small Business Can Survive an Immigration Audit - NYTimes.com: "...1,444 businesses ... receive(d) an introduction to ICE’s stepped-up worksite enforcement program in 2009 — almost three times the number audited in 2008. ...
While the administration of George W. Bush focused on headline-making raids that resulted in arrests of immigrant workers, the Obama administration has gone after employers with ICE’s I-9 audits on the theory that employers who hire unauthorized workers create the demand that drives most illegal immigration. ...
“The master narrative of immigration reform is being crafted around the notion of unscrupulous employers seeking cheap labor,” said Craig Regelbrugge, a lawyer and lobbyist with the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
Unscrupulous employers exist, Mr. Regelbrugge said, but more often he sees business owners who are just trying to follow the law. When a new hire produces seemingly legitimate forms of documentation required by the I-9 form, the employer must accept them. (To refuse could expose the owner to charges of employment discrimination.) “The employer is not required to be a forensics expert,” said Monte Lake, an immigration lawyer in Washington.
The upshot of the more aggressive enforcement is that even employers who have followed the rules can be devastated by an audit that compels them to fire valuable, long-time employees."
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