Size and industry type do not necessarily insulate employers from ICE Worksite Enforcement. On April 8, 2016, a federal jury convicted two waste disposal company managers in Houston, Texas, for employing undocumented workers. Each manager faces a mandatory 24-month prison sentence and could spend more than 10 years behind bars in addition to a possible fine amount of more than $250,000.
The company did an internal I-9 audit before being indicted; untrained managers largely ignored the audit recommendations and continued to employ undocumented workers. Internal audits are only helpful if they are conducted along with training for those dealing with I-9s and immigration compliance by those who are experienced in the field. These untrained managers, and likely others, will now be going to jail for not recognizing the importance of immigration compliance and training.
As ICE has done in the past, it will continue to target “employers, owners, CEOs, managers, supervisors, and others in the management structure of a company.” The first step, and perhaps the most crucial one, in mitigating your liability for violations of immigration regulations is to train your Human Resources managers and everyone in the hiring process who should understand what compliance requires.
Find training opportunities here.
Paul R. Myers
Law Clerk, Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm