Immigration Compliance Group
     I-9 | E-Verify News Update
     June 2012
Immigration Politics
   How Serious are Demands 


On May 3rd, 2012, the President reassured the nation of his dedication to reforming U.S. immigration policies. In his speech, President Obama insisted that upon re-election, he would immediately overhaul the current immigration system. Of late, the DREAM act, a pathway for un-documented students to achieve citizenship, has been at the forefront of immigration politics. But while politicians argue over issues regarding individual rights to obtaining U.S. citizenship, businesses are left wondering where they fit into the proposed immigration "system-overhauls."  The White House website clearly outlines the President's vision for immigration reform, "Demanding accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers."       


This week, HerbCo, an agricultural business in the state of Washington, received $1M in fines for hiring illegal workers.   For more...    

FBI and ICE Serve TX Surveyors 20 Counts, $5M in Fines and 100 years in Prison for 19 Illegal Workers  
Blog Post 05/31/2012
By: Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor


"Homeland Security Investigations is committed to holding businesses and their managers accountable when they knowingly hire an illegal workforce," -John Kelleghan, Special Agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia.

Homeland Security, the FBI, and ICE did much more than hold GPX/GPX, USA, a seismic surveying company and their field supervisor, Donald Wiggill, "accountable," by charging the company with a total maximum fine of $10 million, a probation term of five years on each count, and a special assessment totaling $8,000; Wiggill faces an unconscionable indictment of 100 years in prison on all 20 counts, a fine of $5 million, a supervised release term of 60 years, and a special assessment of $2,000.


The Texas based company failed to verify the immigration status of 19 employees and did not prepare the required Form I-9 Form and supporting documentation concerning the immigrants' authorization to work in the United States.  For more...

Blog Post 05/29/2012,

By: Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor


For the Houston based ABC Professional Tree Service, Inc., firing non-compliant workers and implementing E-Verify was too little too late. Even after implementing E-Verify and firing hundreds of workers following an ICE audit in 2008, the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security recently announced reaching a $2,000,000 non-prosecution agreement with ABC. Shockingly, the sum was based upon ICE's estimation of profits ABC earned through illegal labor practices.  For more...


ICE Releases Powerpoint Presentations Following I-9 Training in LA 


We had the ICE IMAGE Training and Forum in Los Angeles on May 3rd where they explained the benefits of the IMAGE Program and followed up with releasing all the Powerpoint Presentations through email after the event.  They have made some excellent information available to the public on their website; namely:

  1. An HSI I-9 Presentation
  2. An IMAGE HSI Presentation
  3. OSC IMAGE Event Presentation
  4. Self Check User Presentation


Recipes For Success | Lessons Learned as a Restaurant Manager

By: Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor


Like many successful restaurant managers, I worked my way up from the bottom of the employee food chain. That meant with each promotion from bus boy to manager, I was trained by other employees on how to do my job. By the time I became a General Manager, I erroneously believed that being a good manager meant being able to follow established procedures. I soon discovered that this was actually a recipe for disaster.


Auditioning a new waiter is a common practice in the restaurant industry. This entails observing an applicant voluntarily interacting with customers, taking orders, serving food and working with other employees. Typically, the audition ends with a free meal in exchange for the waiter's time and parking validation if the restaurant is generous. Throughout the industry, restaurateurs believe that this practice limits their liability because the applicant has not yet become an employee in "volunteering," their time to audition for the job.


However, the M-274 Handbook For Employers instructions on completing form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Form) classifies this practice of meals and parking reimbursement as remuneration: anything of value given in exchange of labor or services, including food or lodging.  For more...


Immigration Compliance Group
562 612.3996

Immigration Compliance Group focuses its practice on corporate employment verification compliance and US and Canadian inbound business immigration.  Our team has a depth of experience in providing uniquely tailored services and solutions to assist our clients in accomplishing their immigration related objectives.  

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Recent Postings from our Employer Compliance Resource Center
Types of Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination
SEC and ICE Tag-Team Chipotle Mexican Grill
Blog Post 05/21/2012 


Since February of 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, have been conducting investigations into Chipotle Mexican Grill's compliance with employee work authorization laws and regulations.


On May 17, 2012, Chipotle received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting information regarding compliance with employee work authorization requirements, related public statements and other disclosures.  For more...


Can an Anti-Mafia Law Criminalize your Legitimate Business?
Blog Post 05/11/2012

By: Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor


Amendments to The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) in 1996 expose businesses to civil liability for knowingly hiring illegal workers. RICO was originally enacted to protect businesses from the influence of the mafia by allowing private enforcement of sanctions against violators of racketeering laws. Today, if a business employs illegal workers both (1) private individuals who are directly and adversely affected by loss or depression of wages due to employment of illegal workers and (2) businesses who are proximately harmed by a direct competitors employment of illegal workers may seek monetary sanctions including attorney's fees under RICO. Simply put, if you are employing illegal workers, your legally employed workers and your direct competitors may sue you for racketeering.  For more on this story...       




Do You Need a Compliance Strategy?


It can be difficult for employers to keep up with the ever-changing world of employment laws, policies and regulations. Even if you have a fully staffed HR department, many areas in your compliance program can go overlooked, such as conducting regular audits, which end up being bumped for more pressing needs.

If you keep putting off an audit of your I-9 forms, you could most certainly find yourself in the middle of a complex investigation or lawsuit some day that will take center stage very quickly, that could have all been avoided with some basic preventive maintenance.

Take a look at our services and solutions, and set up a time to discuss a program that makes sense for your business.