According to a news release by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), four operators of KSO MetalFab Inc., a manufacturing company in suburban Chicago, have been charged in federal court for knowingly hiring and harboring undocumented workers. According to ICE, they could each face up to five years in prison for harboring and up to six months for engaging in the hiring process of the unauthorized individuals.
The release states that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) served the company a notice of inspection after suspecting 36 of their employees had used fraudulent identity documents in the hiring process. Even though the employers (MetalFab) terminated the alleged unauthorized workers, some of the workers allegedly came back to work for MetalFab through a staffing agency. As we reported in the case of Speed Fab Crete in Texas, transferring workers to third-party agencies is NOT the way to address an unauthorized workforce. Additionally, terminating unauthorized employees may not be sufficient to avoid liability and to establish a defense.
The best way to handle this issue and to avoid fines and jail time is by getting anyone involved in the hiring process trained on corporate immigration compliance and having an internal I-9 audit done on the company's I-9s. Employers should implement corporate immigration plans, policies, and procedures based on ICE best practices. To sign up for a training webinar with the Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute, click HERE.
Business Immigration Attorney MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM
The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts, does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.