Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.
(Politico) — Impatient immigration advocates typically view the Obama Administration as an ally, but a key force in the debate, the Service Employees International Union, is openly criticizing the Department of Homeland Security’s shift in enforcement efforts for the first time.
The Obama Administration has shifted the emphasis of enforcement away from workplace raids — which immigrant advocates had long described as punishing immigrant workers instead of their employers — and toward so-called “I-9 audits,” in which federal agents ask companies to verify their employees’ legal status.
Groups pushing to legalize most immigrant workers are broadly uncomfortable with the audits, which often cost workers their jobs, but have largely avoided criticizing the Administration publicly. But SEIU has seen hundreds of members lose their jobs after I-9 audits: According to the union, 1,200 SEIU janitors in Minneapolis were fired following an I-9 audit last December, and just this week, 250 SEIU janitors in Minneapolis were fired after an I-9 audit, adding to 500 in the area who were fired from Chipotle after the company was examined by the feds.