In a speech to the Heritage Foundation this week, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan stated that ICE will dramatically increase worksite enforcement actions in 2018. When asked whether the agency would do more to target those who employ undocumented workers, Homan said that he has directed Homeland Security Investigations, ICE’s investigative unit, to audit its current worksite enforcement and increase these operations “by four or five times, “ according to an article in the Washington Examiner.
“We’re taking worksite enforcement very hard this year,” stated Homan. “We’ve already increased the number of inspections and worksite operations; you’re going to see that significantly increase this next fiscal year.”
In addition, Homan stated that ICE will not only target the employers who hire undocumented workers, but will also arrest any undocumented workers they encounter during these enforcement operations. This marks a stark deviation from ICE’s previous worksite enforcement strategy, which prioritized employers who knowingly hire large numbers of undocumented workers and engage in trafficking, smuggling, visa fraud, money laundering and other criminal conduct. Under the previous enforcement strategy, these criminal arrests took priority over civil immigration violations of undocumented employees.
In addition to worksite enforcement, Homan stated that ICE will continue its recent trend of arresting undocumented individuals at courthouses and near schools around the country. Churches and hospitals, however, will remain outside the scope of these enforcement operations.