Load Trail, a Sumner TX manufacturing company was recently raided by 300 ICE Agents detaining 160 alleged undocumented workers after an ongoing investigation. The company’s owner’s face the possibility of criminal indictment. Similar circumstances have resulted in employers being charged by ICE with alien smuggling, alien harboring, document fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. This raid is believed to be the largest by ICE in 10 years. Last year a Philadelphia tree trimming company was fined a record $95 million after a smaller raid. Interviewed ICE Agents at the scene of the raid stated “We’re watching and we’re coming”, as well as “you are going to see a lot more worksite enforcement this year”. U.S. federal law enacted in 1986 makes it illegal to hire undocumented workers. Employers are required to verify the identity of workers using form I-9. Most ICE investigations begin with a simple “tip” regarding potential illegal worker hiring practices by disgruntled employees, competitors or other third parties. There are currently an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. ICE officials reported earlier this year that the agency had doubled the number of worksite investigations from 2017.
This serves a reminder that it might be good time to review your hiring practices and documentation procedures to avoid any unnecessary exposure. Please contact your LL Roberts Representative with any questions you might have.