On Tuesday, June 19, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided Fresh Mark, an IMAGE member meat supplier in Northern Ohio, and arrested 146 of its workers. According to a news release published on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Official Website last Tuesday, Fresh Mark is a member of ICE’s IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) program.
Under IMAGE, employers voluntarily agree to partner with ICE to help them comply with federal immigration regulations. ICE’s news release states that despite Fresh Mark’s participation in the program, the DHS has been investigating the company for a year on the basis that they likely hired undocumented workers knowingly and that many of these individuals were using identification belonging to U.S. citizens.
In October of 2017, we reported that an E-Verify registered company (Asplundh Tree Experts) had agreed to pay $95 million in I-9 related liability. Now, an IMAGE member company is being targeted and investigated by ICE.
In light of ICE recently investigating companies that have registered for voluntary Federal Government programs put in place to help employers avoid hiring unauthorized workers, every company, including IMAGE member companies and E-Verify registered companies, should immediately update their corporate immigration compliance plans to ensure they are following federal immigration regulations, including having a third-party compliance specialist audit all employee forms I-9. For more information on how to fully protect yourself and your company, register for a webinar through the Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute.
Mason Ellis Business Immigration Attorney MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM
Phone :: 913.317.6200 Email :: MEllis@uslegalimmigration.com
I-9 AUDITS | I-9 TRAINING | H-1B VISA