Monday, October 09, 2006
Employers of illegal immigrants get ICEd
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an investigative unit within the Department of Homeland Security, announced that two temporary labor companies, the president of these companies, and two of their corporate officers pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to conspiring to provide hundreds of illegal aliens to work for a national air cargo firm.
Immigration laws are the only ones relating to hiring (that I know of) that can result in criminal penalties, and this case is a good example. Although the judge has yet to determine the actual sentence, the maximum penalty for each individual is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The companies face a maximum punishment of five years probation, and fines of $500,000 or twice the gain they received from the crime. The plea agreement for the president of the two labor companies also calls for him to forfeit $12 million, which represents the proceeds of the crime and the property used to commit the crime.
Ouch. Make sure you follow best practices when hiring. This includes possibly participating in DHS's Basic Pilot Program which allows employers to use SSA and DHS databases to electronically verify employment authorization.