The Obama administration has "largely abandoned" efforts to enforce laws that prohibit businesses from hiring illegal immigrants, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement audited 181 workplaces and charged 27 employers in the first five months of this fiscal year, the internal ICE data analyzed by CIS shows. That's a steep decline from 2013, when ICE audited more than 3,000 companies and arrested 179 employers. And the number of fines ICE collected from employers dropped by more than half since 2013. (RELATED: US Deports Illegal Immigrants On Expensive Charter Flights)

"The administration's near discontinuation of worksite enforcement means that employers now face very little risk in hiring illegal workers and have little incentive to abide by the law," CIS Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan wrote in the report.

In 2009, the Obama administration instructed top ICE investigations personnel to stop conducting physical raids of employers, and to instead conduct "virtual raids" by inspecting personnel records. (RELATED: ICE Officers Carry Flash Cards To Help Them Remember Who They Can Deport)

The number of audits fell from a high of 3,127 in 2013 to to 1,320 in 2014, and the agency is on track to complete fewer than 500 audits this year, CIS found.

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