Saturday, December 17, 2011
ICE Raids on the Upswing
By Tommy Eden, Attorney
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security has been busy this holiday season with employer worksite immigration enforcement raids. Below are only a few of the pending cases.
October 4, Buffalo, NY. A Mexican national was sentenced for harboring illegal and undocumented aliens. Javier Banda-Mireles, 38, was convicted of harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage and sentenced to 12 months in prison. He and his brother owned and operated several Mexican restaurants in western New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, supervised and harbored between six and 25 illegal aliens paying wages well below minimum wage.
November 3, Jackson, MS. The owners of Love Irrigation, Inc., a lawn irrigation, sprinkler installation and landscaping company located in Ridgeland, MS were arraigned in federal court on a multi-count indictment charging them and their company, with conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and encouraging illegal aliens to reside in the United States. If convicted, Paul Love faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and/or a $1.25 million fine. Barbara Love faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and/or a $1.75 million fine. Love Irrigation, Inc. faces a maximum fine of $1.5 million and up to five years probation. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2012, in Jackson.
November 8, Savannah, GA. A Georgia couple was arrested for harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage and then laundering the proceeds. Hugo Diaz, 43, and Blanca Diaz, 42, of Evans, Ga., appeared in federal court after being indicted for four counts of harboring illegal aliens and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Each of these crimes carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of proceeds from Diaz's crimes, including multiple parcels of real estate in Georgia and South Carolina, as well as 10 vehicles.
December 16, North Alabama. The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that officers with ICE have raided mobile homes and apartments in at least three sites in Fort Payne and Collinsville this week, apparently targeting heavily Hispanic areas. These residential raids reportedly resulted in arresting dozens of people in north Alabama. ICE has not yet confirmed.
Common Sense Counsel: all the complaints about ICE doing nothing to enforce the federal immigration law has led to a flurry of recent worksite enforcement raids. The Alabama Immigration Law January 1, 2011 deadline looms large as do ICE raids. Get on E-Verify and keep your business in business.
Tommy Eden is an attorney with Capell & Howard, P.C. and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, and presented throughout the State of Alabama on Immigration Workplace Compliance in 2011. Tommy can be contacted at email@example.com or 334-241-8030. A detailed legal summary for employers of the Act, and other links and resources, is at www.immigrationalabamalaw.com