Friday, July 3, 2009
Obama's Alternative to Factory Raids -- A Letter
The Obama administration signaled in April that it would be shifting immigration enforcement from factory raids, which created much havoc for the immigrants' families, to auditing employers and penalizing them with fines and civil sanctions. ICE has begun sending out letters notifying companies of such audits. Immigration advocates welcomed the end to "the showboat enforcement raids", but anti-immigration activists hope the fines are more than a slap on the wrist. The auditing will target companies with large workforces, especially those that "serially" and knowingly employ those unauthorized to work here or that have taken advantage of the undocumented to cheat on wages and labor standards. While the shift is welcomed by immigration advocates, it still presents the undocumented worker with the prospects of job loss and deportation. The New York Times profiles the new policy in the case of Los Angeles' American Apparel which had been a sympathetic employers.