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What about companies that hire illegal workers?

A small army of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents recently surrounded seven food-processing plants in Mississippi, one by one, and arrested about 680 workers alleged to be in this country illegally.

But as ICE continues processing the immigrants arrested in the raids, owners of the plants remain free — despite the fact they too are alleged to have broken the law by hiring “undocumented” workers. At last report, no charges had been filed against plant owners or managers.

Critics of policy regarding those who employ illegal immigrants say it is too easy for the companies and their managers to dodge responsibility. The law states that for them to be held liable, they must have known they were hiring undocumented workers.

“The ‘knowingly’ term has proved to be a huge defense for employers,” an official at the Migration Policy Institute told The Associated Press. “The employer says, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t know they were unauthorized.'”

During fiscal 2018, ICE was able to convict just 49 company managers for breaking the law in hiring illegal immigrants.

Perhaps Congress should take another look at the statutes, in an effort to make it more perilous for companies and their managers to hire people in this country illegally.

Many of those who sneak across our borders do so in the knowledge it will not be difficult for them to find work in the United States. Cracking down on those engaging in unscrupulous hiring practices could make coming here illegally far less attractive.

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