Employers who violate immigration laws will face stiffer fines effective March 27, 2008, announced the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.
The fines are going up on average 25 percent, which the government says is simply an adjustment for inflation, the last change being in 1999.
Employers may be fined if found to have knowingly employed undocumented works or for other violations, including failing to comply with the requirements relating to employment eligibility verification forms, wrongfully discriminating against job applicants or employees on the basis of nationality or citizenship, and for immigration-related document fraud.
The minimum penalty for knowing employment of an unauthorized alien jumps $100, from $275 to $375. The maximum penalty for a first violation is increasing from $2,200 to $3,200.
The largest hike raises the maximum civil penalty for multiple violations from the current $11,000 to $16,000. These penalties are assessed on a per-person basis; thus, if an employer knowingly employed, or continued to employ, five undocumented workers, he would be subject to five fines.
This increases comes on the heels of ramped up immigration enforcement raids and criminal prosecutions against businesses.
Business owners object to the new fines, saying they combined with the worksite immigration enforcement campaigns will only increase the likelihood of discrimination against foreign nationals, according to the Dallas Morning News.