ICE will target employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers rather than targeting workers in blanket raids. The guidelines state, “ICE must prioritize the criminal prosecution of actual employers who knowingly hire illegal workers because such employers are not sufficiently punished or deterred by the arrest of their illegal work force.”
Cases against employers will be made through carefully built criminal investigations. Agents are instructed to “obtain indictments, criminal arrest or search warrants, or a commitment from a U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute the targeted employer, before arresting employees for civil immigration violations at a work site.”
Humanitarian concerns — such as a sickness or being the primary caregiver for a child — must be considered in raids of companies with 25 employees or more, in contrast to previous rules requiring it to be with 150 employees or more.
The new guidelines, as reported in The New York Times, came as a result of the Feb. 24 ICE raid in Bellingham, Wash., where 28 women and men were arrested and detained at the Yamato Engine Specialists Ltd. The organization expressed dismay over how aggressively ICE handled the situation.
Following intense and immediate organizing from immigrant rights organizations, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano pledged an investigation into the raids.
“The new guidelines are an important step in the right direction,” said Pramila Jayapal, executive director of OneAmerica. “They raise the standards of evidence needed to conduct raids and focus on unscrupulous employers rather than vulnerable workers. This should help rein in chaotic and often heartless past actions by ICE agents that do not address the real problems of a broken system.”
In October 2008, as part of a pilot program, 48 counties across the country began to screen local jail bookings, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says the program will be used in nearly all local jails by the end of 2012. Authorities estimate that if fingerprints from all 14-million bookings in local jails across the country were screened, about 1.4-million "criminal aliens" would be found.
Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations at Numbers USA, believes there is an ulterior motive behind the Obama administration's move to expand the program.
"This administration, including the secretary of Homeland Security, believes that if they can shift the focus of all immigration enforcement to just 'criminal aliens,' then they will be able to look like they're being tough on enforcement without actually affecting the vast majority of illegal aliens in this country," she states.
Jenks says while it is important to focus on criminal aliens, she believes at the same time ICE needs to do general enforcement in order to send the message that no illegal alien will get away with living in the United States -- not just those who commit a crime in addition to illegal entry.
IN other words, ICE is out of the work site enforcement business. In fact, work site groups have been dismantled by ICE Office of Investigations and replaced with "financial crimes" groups. Current law makes it virtually impossible to prosecute employers who follow the guidelines when completing I-94's for new employees. The employer can be prosecuted for discrimination violations much more easily then they can for hiring illegal aliens.
The illegal aliens who get past the Border Patrol will not be arrested under the ObamaNation rules . ICE will only deport those illegal who are arrested by state and local authorities for other criminal violations. Few, if any employers will ever be prosecuted, as the current law protects them if they simply fill out I-94 forms for new employees. 99.9% of illegals use false documents to obtain employment. It is NOT the responsibility of the employer to investigate the validity of the documents presented for employment. In fact, it would be illegal for the employee to investigate further under the current laws.
ICE has over 5,0000 highly trained special agents sitting around the office, doing NOTHING. This ain't your daddy's INS !