The government will
raise by 25 percent the fines it levies against employers who knowingly hire
illegal immigrants, officials said Friday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency responsible for
investigating illegal hirings, has stepped up its enforcement of the employer
sanctions law in the past year, leading to a dozen major busts. Currently, fines
range from $275 to $11,000 depending on the offense. The agency says some
penalties could include at least six months in jail.