Immigration Reform and Control Act
(IRCA) The Immigration Reform and Control Act plays two important roles. First it prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of natural origin or citizenship status. Secondly, with certain narrow exceptions, it sets penalties for hiring illegal aliens. Knowingly hiring anyone not eligible to work in the US is punishable by both civil and criminal penalties. The IRCA is enforced by a branch of the Department of Justice called the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS.