Immigration crackdown shifts to employers as audits surge

Friday, May 11, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 19

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. authorities have sharply increased audits of companies to verify that their employees are authorized to work in the country. That's a sign the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration is reaching deeper into the workplace.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday that it opened nearly 2,300 employer audits between Oct. 1 and May 4, easily surpassing 1,360 audits conducted between October 2016 and September 2017. Many of those reviews were launched following the January ICE audits and employee interviews at about 100 7-Eleven franchises in 17 states.

The head of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations unit, Derek Benner, tells The Associated Press that audits will total "well over" 5,000 this year. The agency plans to conduct between 10,000 and 15,000 audits annually.