This morning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) is set to announce the creation of a new office with the express job of auditing companies suspected of hiring undocumented workers. While the alleged purpose of these efforts to is to insure that companies use workers eligible to the work in the U.S. and to find those that don’t, the effects increase the number of unemployed overall.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Morton [head of I.C.E] said the new center would have the “express purpose” of providing support to regional immigration offices conducting large audits. “We wouldn’t be limited by the size of a company,” he said.
The audits, which have affected garment makers, fruit growers and meat packers, result in the firing of everyundocumented immigrant on a company’s payroll. Companies say this has hurt them, especially as they can’t attract American workers even during an economic downturn.
Last year, for example, Gebbers Farm, an agricultural concern in Brewster, Wash., dismissed an estimated 550 workers—about a quarter of the local population—after ICE told the company a number of its employees’ hiring documents were suspect.