John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), announced "record breaking" worksite enforcement results for fiscal year 2010. Secretary Napolitano prefaced her announcement by noting that the Obama administration has fundamentally reformed worksite enforcement of the immigration laws by targeting employers. As part of this process, Secretary Napolitano announced that the DHS has taken steps to strengthen the E-Verify system, reached a new agreement with the Justice Department that streamlines referrals of suspected E-Verify abuse and discrimination, and added a new photo identification tool to E-Verify for U.S. passports.
Since January 2009, ICE has audited over 3,200 employers, assessed more than $50 million in fines, and debarred 225 companies and individuals. This is more than the total number of audits and debarments that occurred during the entire previous administration. During 2010, ICE announced that it has conducted more than twice the number of Form I-9 audits performed in fiscal year 2009, and the number of fines imposed by ICE increased 600 percent over the previous year!