Immigration enforcement focusing on smaller firms, criminal arrests — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Immigration enforcement focusing on smaller firms, criminal arrests

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The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) grabbed headlines in the past year with large-scale immigration raids at big companies, such as the high-profile arrest of hundreds of workers at Swift & Co. meat-processing plants. But now that ICE has more trained officers and better coordination with other agencies, it’s targeting more small businesses, too.

The agency also has sharpened its enforcement teeth. It has increasingly brought cases against employers under the criminal code, rather than civil penalties. In fact, ICE completed 863 criminal arrests in 2007, up from just 25 such arrests five years earlier (see box below).

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