Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:02 PM
AlphaCentauri (6,460 posts)
Gov't spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement
The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement in the last fiscal year than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a report on the government's enforcement efforts from a Washington think tank.
The report on Monday from the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan group focused on global immigration issues, said in the 2012 budget year that ended in September the government spent about $18 billion on immigration enforcement programs run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US-Visit program, and Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol. Immigration enforcement topped the combined budgets of the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Secret Service by about $3.6 billion dollars, the report's authors said.
Since then-President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986 — which legalized more than 3 million illegal immigrants and overhauled immigration laws — the government has spent more than $187 billion on immigration enforcement. According to the report, "Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery," federal immigration-related criminal prosecutions also outnumber cases generated by the Justice Department.
The 182-page report concludes that the Obama administration has made immigration its highest law enforcement priority.
"Today, immigration enforcement can be seen as the federal government's highest criminal law enforcement priority, judged on the basis of budget allocations, enforcement actions and case volumes," MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, a co-author of the report, said in a statement released with the report.
Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2013/01/07/govt-spent-18-billion-on-immigration-enforcement
"Support for enforcement has been heightened by the inability of lawmakers to bridge political and ideological divides over other reforms to the nation’s immigration policy.
As a result, a philosophy known as “enforcement first” has become de facto the nation’s singular response to illegal immigration, and changes to the immigration system have focused almost entirely on building enforcement programs and improving their performance."
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Gov't spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement (Original post)
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Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:15 PM
WilmywoodNCparalegal (2,555 posts)
1. I-9 Audits of Employers are increasing
ICE conducts I-9 audits regularly and these audits have gone up exponentially during the Obama administration. In case you don't know, the I-9 form is required to be completed by all newly hired employees and proof of employment eligibility and identity must be provided to the employer within 3 days from first day of constructive employment.
The documentation requirements are either one item from List A (List A documents prove both identity and employment eligibility) or one item from List B (proving identity) and one item from List C (proving employment eligibility). Among the listed documents there are U.S. passports, driver's licenses, various visas, social security numbers, etc.
Employers are required to keep these on file for a certain period of time. Moreover, employers are required to re-verify an employee's employment eligibility if there is an expiration date. For instance, if an employee's H-1B visa expires, the I-9 must be re-verified with a new H-1B or any other type of employment eligibility or the employee can be terminated.
This type of enforcement has been on the books since 1986 and it's nothing new. However, the Obama administration is thankfully the only one who has taken it seriously and has begun to enforce it more so than the predecessors.
Simply put, employers who knowingly hire and employ people without the proper authorization for employment need to be penalized. The penalties - financial, civil and criminal - are severe.
The only way illegal immigration can be greatly reduced is to enforce the existing laws. Another more recent addition has been E-Verify which is used jointly with the I-9 form. Now required by many states, E-Verify is a free online system that verifies an employee's documentation and even has a photo matching feature. In cases where an employee cannot be verified, the employee is given 8 days within which s/he can correct records or resolve the matter. The employee can also choose not to contest the findings and be terminated.
If the employee cannot resolve the discrepancies within 8 days, s/he will be terminated. Note that the contact numbers provided for E-Verify tentative non-confirmation are dedicated for E-Verify purposes only, so that there is no long wait. The error rate is less than 3% and keeps getting better. The photo matching feature has also improved the reliability and efficiency.