The Department of Homeland Security is issuing work-site enforcement guidance instructing agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to crack down on employers and supervisors who knowingly hire illegal workers, according to a memo posted on the DHS Web site.

"Effective immediately, ICE will focus its resources in the work-site enforcement program on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration," according to the memo.

The guidelines include instructions to target employers and supervisors for prosecution "through the use of carefully planned criminal investigations," an American Meat Institute outlined in memo to its meat-packing membership.

Agents are instructed to "obtain indictments, criminal arrest or search warrants, or a commitment from a U.S. attorney's office to prosecute the targeted employer, before arresting employees for civil immigration violations at a work site."

DHS outlined that ICE will continue to arrest and process for removal any illegal workers found in such operations. In addition, humanitarian guidelines are being enforced for ICE raids affecting 25 or more illegal workers; the previous threshold was 150 illegal workers.

View the DHS Fact Sheet on the new enforcement strategies.

Source: DHS,