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Audits up, arrests down in worksite immigration enforcement
Federal audits to ensure Arizona businesses are following proper hiring practices to employ legal workers quadrupled over the last four years, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.
KJZZ's Jude Joffe-Block reports these audits are up, but federal arrests of undocumented workers are down.
Very few employers have faced charges under Arizona's state employer sanctions law, which aimed to penalize the hiring unauthorized immigrants. But federal worksite enforcement is rising nationally, In 2012, ICE slapped 166 Arizona employers with audits of their I-9 hiring forms. That's compared to just 40 audits in 2009.
Yet in 2012, ICE did not arrest a single worker in Arizona for being in the country illegally as part of this worksite enforcement. Four years ago, the agency arrested 41 workers for immigration violations.