McCaskill Requests Names From Workplace Enforcement Arrests
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill yestrday requested that Secretary Julie Myers, nominee to continue as the head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, turn over the names of individuals prosecuted as a result of their workplace enforcement program last year.
During a September 12th hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, McCaskill asked Myers for the total number of employers who went to jail for hiring illegal immigrants. Myers told McCaskill she didn't have that total, but would provide it at a later time. McCaskill then asked for the total number of the number of persons charged criminally as a result of ICE workplace enforcement actions, Myers confirmed that there had been a total of 716 arrests made during fiscal year 2006, including illegal immigrants and any alleged arrests made of employers.
"The idea that we've got 716 total criminal cases in an entire year, when we've got 12 million illegal immigrants, most of which are going to work every day, is not success. That is just simply not success," McCaskill said to Myers at the hearing.
In recent discussions with staff members from ICE, McCaskill's staff was told that it would take a significant amount of time to sort through the total 716 arrests from last year to separate the cases of illegal immigrants from those who hired illegal immigrants.
As a result, McCaskill's staff this week asked for the release of the 716 names in order to begin an investigation of their own to calculate an estimated number of employers who were arrested for hiring illegal immigrants. McCaskill is skeptical that many of the 716 arrests were employers.
McCaskill consistently has argued that immigrants are entering the United States illegally because they feel confident employers will hire them. In fact, in recent years, employers ignoring federal law by hiring illegal immigrants have faced few criminal charges or sanctions.
On Wednesday, McCaskill wrote a letter to Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, asking that he delay a committee vote on Myers' nomination.