Election Year Enforcement?
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The San Jose Mercury News writes:

In a new effort to crack down on illegal immigrants, federal authorities are expected to announce tough rules this week that would require employers to fire workers who use false Social Security numbers.

Officials said the rules would be backed up by stepped-up raids on workplaces across the country that employ illegal immigrants.


If workers' documents cannot be verified, employers would be required to fire them or risk up to $10,000 in fines for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

According to a fact sheet at the White House, the current fine levels are

The civil fine for employers who hire illegal workers is between $275 and $2,200 per alien for first-time offenders; between $3,300 and $11,000 per alien for four-time offenders.

I've seen other references to higher fines up to $25,000—but I'm not sure the exact nature of the offenses for which those fines apply.

Anyhow, all these fines are way too low compared to the potential benefits to employers and risk of getting caught involved here. We also need to think about how to soften the blow on poor folks that have made considerable investment in a corrupt regime. We can have a tough enforcement policy that handles employers quite seriously and assures the immigrants themselves return home to decent conditions.

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