Enforcement to Focus on Employers

By Curt Kipp,
Oregon Association of Nurseries
Daily Digger Blog

The Los Angeles Times, citing administration officials who for the most part spoke on condition of anonymity, reported last week that the Obama administration – and Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano – will focus its immigration enforcement efforts on arresting and prosecuting employers rather than employees:

The shift in emphasis will be outlined in revamped field guidelines issued to agents of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, as early as this week, several officials familiar with the change said.

The policy is in line with comments that President Obama made during last year’s campaign, when he said enforcement efforts had failed because they focused on illegal immigrants rather than on the companies that hired them.

“There is a supply side and a demand side,” one Homeland Security official said. “Like other law enforcement philosophies, there is a belief that by focusing more on the demand side, you cut off the supply.”

The article goes on to state that agents will be held to a higher standard of probable cause. The agency has come under criticism recently for raiding workplaces based on suspicion rather than proof of illegal workers.

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