Immigration Fines Going Up - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Immigration Fines Going Up

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PASCO, Wash.- Fines for businesses who knowingly employ illegal immigrants are going way up.

The federal government is proposing raising the fines by 25%, but immigration lawyer Tom Roach talked with today says in 25 years of practicing immigration law here, he's never seen a client fined.

Only once has he even had a client audited.  

Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff made the announcement Friday.  

It would be the first increase in fines in more than a decade, but one expert doesn't think it will solve any problems, in fact he says it will only create more problems because businesses won't be able to find employees for some jobs.

"Trying to approach this situation and solving this problem by punishing employers who can't find anybody else to do the work, that seems like kind of a ridiculous solution," Roach said.

Roach says illegal immigrants aren't taking jobs away from native born Americans as some think.

He cites the low unemployment rate for that.  

The current fines range from about $2,000 all the way up to $10,000.