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Immigration audits hit highest number yet in 2012

Miami is a community that draws in large numbers of people from other countries, creating a vibrant multi-cultural environment. However, this influx also presents great challenges for local businesses and companies in making sure that their workers have the proper papers to meet federal requirements. While law makers are still trying to decide what to do with the millions of undocumented workers who live in the country, employers of these workers are subject to audits from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A recent news story brings this into focus, pointing out that ICE is taking legal action against businesses that employ workers who have no documentation. These actions are the result of audits being conducted, whose purpose is to verify that documents used to change immigration status are in fact genuine and not counterfeit. Businesses that are found to be in violation of immigration law can be subjected to hefty fines, and managers may even find themselves on house arrest or serving time behind bars.

According to information released from ICE, more companies were audited in 2012 than in any previous year. While an ICE spokesperson says that companies audited are chosen in a number of ways, the article indicates that businesses which tend to hire immigrant workers are often targeted for an ICE audit. These businesses can include:

  • agriculture
  • construction
  • cleaning services
  • warehouse services
  • stores aimed at specific ethnic groups

In order to avoid issues with ICE, businesses and employees can turn to an immigration attorney for legal assistance. An attorney can guide an immigrant through the process of obtaining a work visa or becoming a legal permanent resident.

Source: Miami Herald, "Audits of businesses for illegal immigrants rising," Manuel Valdes, Dec. 23, 2012

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