Focus of Immigration Enforcement Shifting from Workers to Employers

Los Angeles Times:


Stepping into the political minefield of immigration reform, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano soon will direct federal agents to focus more on arresting and prosecuting American employers than the illegal laborers who sneak into the country to work for them, department officials said Monday.

The shift in emphasis will be outlined in revamped field guidelines issued to agents of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, as early as this week, several officials familiar with the change said.

The policy is in line with comments that President Obama made during last year's campaign, when he said enforcement efforts had failed because they focused on illegal immigrants rather than on the companies that hired them.

"There is a supply side and a demand side," one Homeland Security official said. "Like other law enforcement philosophies, there is a belief that by focusing more on the demand side, you cut off the supply."

Another department official said the changes were the result of a broad review of all immigration and border security programs and policies that Napolitano began in her first days in office.
 

"She is focused on using our limited resources to the greatest effect, targeting criminal aliens and employers that flout our laws and deliberately cultivate an illegal workforce," the official said.

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