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Immigration Law Violations Now Result In Higher Penalties

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Employers that violate immigration law face larger civil monetary penalties, which were raised to account for inflation.  The increased penalties became effective March 27, 2008, for violations that occur on or after that date.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) published the final rule in late February.  The amounts were calculated using a formula set forth by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990.  Since the formula is "extremely detailed" and leaves no room for discretion in setting the amounts, there was no need for a notice and comment period.

The inflation adjustment worked out to 25.35%, but due to the rounding allowed by the Adjustment Act, some increases were more than 25%, others were less.  Amounts that were being raised for the first time could only be raised 10%, the maximum the law allows for initial adjustments.


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