The Obama administrations quieter immigration enforcement tactic is to search through employee records for illegal immigrant workers. More than 2900 companies resulting in a record 3 million dollars in fines have been audited this year. It is estimated that thousands of workers have been fired but in most cases they are not deported.
The audits though do force employers to immediately fire those suspected of being illegal.
Gebbers Farm, an orchard in Washington, was audited and 500 of its workers, mostly immigrants from Mexico were found to be in the country illegally. These firings shocked the little village of 2100 in eastern Washington. The Gebbers Farm had a reputation of always treating their employees fairly. It was a sad day for everyone when ICE auditors concluded their I-9 examination and the workers were fired. Employees who were renting homes on the orchard were given three months to move. Many of the immigrants purchased new illegal documents and went in search of new employment. But there were few takers for the now vacant 500 jobs.
“Show me one American —just one — climbing a picker’s ladder,” said Maria Cervantes, 33, a former Gebbers Farms worker from Mexico who gave her name because she was recently approved as a legal immigrant.
After being unable to fill the positions, Gebbers Farms has had to work with the federal guest workers program find new employees. They hired 1200 legal temporary workers, most from Mexico who can stay in the US for up to six months.
Many wonder, what has been accomplished?