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— U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reached its highest number yet of companies audited for illegal immigrants on their payrolls this past fiscal year.

Audits of company I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238.

The probing of employers is one of the pillars of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy. He has also said that any plan Congress considers this year to reform the nation’s immigration system should continue the audits.

Immigrant advocates say the audits have pushed workers further underground by causing mass layoffs and industry representatives say the audits disrupt business operations.

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  • LondonHawg
    December 23, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.

    For all the millions and maybe billions that the government is going to have to dump in the IRS to police Obama Care, just to impose fines on those who object to being forced into something they never voted for, they are way past due to enforce this program, and I'm sure its just another ploy by the government just so they can put out headlines like this. This program needs to be enforced to the limit in all 50 states. 3000 companies in "one year" ..........that's a joke

  • Jackabbott
    December 23, 2012 at 2:29 p.m.

    All companies needed to be audited every year or every other year. The cost to the taxpayers and American workers losing their jobs is enormous.
    The state of Arkansas needs to get into the act before any attempt at expanding Medicad happens. The college that ASU is trying to establish in Mexico at taxpayer expens needs to be nixed.

  • Guzzler
    December 24, 2012 at 6:08 a.m.

    This problem is beyond control now, America has allowed the little wetback cockroaches in and now they want to put their finger in the damn, too late