Utah Luxury Hotel Laying Off Undocumented Workers

The Grand America, a luxury hotel constructed in Salt Lake City, Utah, in advance of the 2002 Olympic Games, will lay off workers who cannot provide documentary proof they are authorized to work in the United States.

Hotel officials have not confirmed the number, but Tony Yapias, director of Proyecto Latino de Utah, said more than 120 people will likely lose their jobs.

The hotel has verified all workers’ Social Security numbers since 2006, but a recent Department of Homeland Security audit required all employees to furnish an up-to-date work permit. The agency instructed the hotel to cease employing those who could not do so by September 1.

Deportation raids have become less common since President Barack Obama took office, while immigration enforcement efforts have focused on I-9 audits of businesses. These audits have driven some undocumented workers out of good jobs and into low-wage work for unscrupulous employers, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.

Last June, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said it would audit 1,000 companies in “critical food, energy and infrastructure industries.” Though ICE did not announce the companies’ names, American Business Machines and Chipotle restaurants are among businesses recently audited.