Immigration Reform: Status of Implementing Employer Sanctions After One Year   [open pdf - 2MB]

"This is the first of three annual GAO reports required by section 101(a) of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The act prohibits employers from knowingly hiring unauthorized workers. Noncompliance can result in penalties (sanctions). Our report describes the initial efforts to implement and enforce the employer sanctions provisions of the act. The act requires us to review the implementation and enforcement of employer sanctions for the purpose of determining if such provisions have been carried out satisfactorily, have caused a pattern of discrimination against U.S. citizens or other eligible workers, and have caused an unnecessary regulatory burden on employers. Since the act has not yet been fully implemented, this report presents information on actions to date and describes our plans to address these questions in our future work. In addition, we discuss several methodological problems that may preclude us from making conclusive determinations on these matters in our two subsequent reports. In GAO's opinion, the general approach followed during the first year to implement the law has been satisfactory. So far, the data on discrimination related to the law has not shown a pattern of discrimination or unreasonable burden on employers. However, because of the many factors involved, GAO may not be able to isolate and measure the effects of employer sanctions on any identified discrimination. Insufficient data exist for GAO to determine if the act's regulatory burden on employers is unnecessary and it is unlikely such data will be available."

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