ICE Audits 122 CA Firms in Immigration Crackdown

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Federal immigration officials are auditing 122 Southern California businesses, demanding proof their employees have legal permission to work in the U.S., reports the Wall Street Journal. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hand-delivered audit notices to businesses last week. The notices require employers to show the government detailed records of who works there and evidence they are authorized to work. It is the second large-scale workplace enforcement effort in California this year, and it comes as businesses feel increasingly squeezed by federal and state immigration laws. ICE officials said no specific industry was targeted.

By law, the businesses have three days to compile their records but ICE said many businesses issued audit notices this week were given as much as a week to comply with the document requests. The latest effort follows audits at 77 businesses in Northern California in recent weeks and nearly 100 7-Eleven convenience stores around the country, including California. Thomas Homan, ICE’s deputy director, has said his agency is planning to increase workplace enforcement of immigration laws dramatically this year as part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to crack down on illegal immigration. A 1986 law that granted legal status to three million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally also made it illegal to employ people who don’t have the government’s permission to work in the U.S. In a separate operation, ICE deportation officers arrested 212 immigrants across Southern California last week. The agency had been looking for about 400 people, most of whom officials said are convicted criminals or people who have been previously deported or ordered out of the U.S. by a judge.

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