The Trump administration is promising a major crackdown on employers that hire undocumented immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will “significantly increase” the number of inspections in worksite operations, according to acting ICE Director Tom Homan.
He said Homeland Security Investigations, ICE’s investigative arm, could potentially quintuple its worksite enforcement actions next year. ICE conducted 1,279 workplace audits in 2016, down by 59% from 2013 when 3,127 employers were audited.
“We’ve already increased the number of inspections in worksite operations,” Homan said Oct. 24. at a conference sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation. “You will see that significantly increase this next fiscal year.” Homan said the goal was to cripple the employment “magnet” that draws undocumented immigrants to enter the U.S.
Stepped-up worksite enforcement puts HR professionals squarely in ICE’s crosshairs.
Victor Leos, a former HR executive for the Garland, Texas, Independent School District found that out the hard way Oct. 24 when he was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $317,482 in restitution for falsifying immigration documents.
Leos was responsible for recruiting teachers from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Philippines to fill open teaching positions. From 2007 to 2012, Leos engaged in a criminal conspiracy with outside recruiters to recruit and hire foreign teachers. In exchange, he received kickbacks.
In his guilty plea, Leos admitted he falsified visa applications for 38 immigrants.
“He upended all these lives and perpetrated this fraud for the most selfish of reasons—personal profit,” said Katrina W. Berger, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas office. “HSI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to identify and disrupt immigration benefit fraud and bring to justice those involved in these illegal schemes.”