* Krispy Kreme fined for hiring illegal workers
* Penalty highlights policy shift to target employers
PHOENIX, July 7 (Reuters) - Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc KKD.N has reached a $40,000 fine settlement for violating immigration laws by hiring illegal immigrants, U.S. immigration police said on Tuesday.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, said an inspection revealed the company had employed dozens of unauthorized workers at a doughnut factory in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The audit found the firm did not have required paperwork for all workers at the plant. The fine was settled last Friday, ICE said.
As part of the settlement, Krispy Kreme has taken measures to revise its immigration compliance program, and has agreed to begin implementing new procedures to prevent future violations of federal immigration laws, ICE said.
Immigration, particularly what to do with 12 million illegal immigrants living and working in the shadows, is a divisive topic in the United States.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama’s administration broke with a previous policy that targeted undocumented workers for deportation, and implemented instead a strategy to go after U.S. employers hiring illegal immigrants.
ICE announced last week, that 652 businesses around the country would be audited to establish if they were compliant with immigration laws.
The federal probe found that a third of American Apparel’s APP.A factory workers in the Los Angeles area had supplied suspect or invalid records and were not authorized to work in the United States.
Reporting by Tim Gaynor, Editing by Sandra Maler