Employers Taking the Heat on Immigration

The feds are stepping up audits and fines while states are imposing even harsher penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

In the battle against illegal immigration, the latest tactic is to hammer employers, putting the onus on them to discourage illicit crossings by ensuring that illegals aren’t able to find U.S. jobs.

Eighteen states now require the use of E-Verify, Uncle Sam’s massive national database of legitimate Social Security numbers and their owners. The exact provisions vary from state to state; some exempt small firms from the requirement, for example. Some hit noncompliant employers very hard. Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama, for instance, can suspend or even revoke the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire folks with no authorization to work. In South Carolina, hiring illegal immigrants is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

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Martha Lynn Craver
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter