February 28, 2019
Workplace Enforcement Actions have Increased almost threefold under Trump
In fiscal year 2018, Homeland Security Investigations opened 6,848 worksite investigations. That’s roughly a 305 percent increase from the year before, when 1,691 investigations were opened. I-9 audits – random checks the government does to ensure that employees have proper work authorization – have also increased. In 2018, the government conducted 5,981 audits, compared with 1,360 the year before. The agency made 779 criminal and 1,525 administrative worksite-related arrests nationwide in fiscal year 2018, compared with 139 and 172 the year before. Administrative arrests are for non-criminal immigration violations.
Last year ICE engaged in some of the largest workplace raids in its history. A few examples:
In June, 146 people were arrested at Fresh Mark, a meat supplier in Salem, Ohio
Earlier in June, 114 people were arrested at a landscaping company in Castalia, Ohio
In August, 159 people were arrested in a raid at trailer manufacturer in Sumner, Texas
The number of workplace raids is up, but the practice is hardly new.
In 2006 ICE arrested 1,300 people in one day in a massive 6 state raid against Swift and Company meat packing plants. As part of the day’s operations they blocked all the roads out of Cactus, Texas the day of the raid, detaining 300 workers from the Swift and Company plant in that town.
Finally, you can’t make this up. In San Diego:
Golden State Fence Company’s founder and a vice president were sentenced in 2007 to probation and hit with large fines for knowingly hiring immigrants who were unauthorized to work in the United States. The company had to forfeit $4.7 million to the U.S. government, a total that represented “the amount of profit the government believed the company derived through its use of undocumented workers,” the Union-Tribune reported at the time. The company had been contracted by the government to work on parts of the border fence in 1997.
Local and state actions:
Newly elected Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas ends regular communication with ICE over people in local jails.
From now on, unless they receive a judicial warrant, the sheriff’s office won’t talk with Immigration and Customs Enforcement about detainees in their jail. “There won’t be any communication with ICE,” Lucas said.
In a party line vote, the Washington State Senate passed a bill to ban discrimination based on citizenship status. It goes to the state house next.
More on California’s inspection of DHS/ICE facilities in the state, where 75,000 people have been detained over the past three years.