ICE announces plans to target food industry
- According to an internal memo, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to conduct a major worksite enforcement operation targeting U.S. food chains, the Daily Beast reports.
- ICE says it will be targeting franchises that pay undocumented immigrants less that minimum wage and charging them with "harboring illegal aliens," according to the Daily Beast.
- The site notes that about 9% of U.S. food service employees are undocumented, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
ICE recently announced plans to ratchet up enforcement operations four- or five-fold as part of the Trump administration's plan to prioritize immigration enforcement. Onsite visits can include checks for trafficking, money laundering and other illegal activities, according to ICE's website, but many focus on employers' recordkeeping efforts.
Employers must ensure their Form I-9s are in order to avoid the kind of liability that a Pennsylvania-based tree-pruning company faced in a $95 million settlement — the largest I-9 payout ever. One common violation involves using outdated forms. Employers should, among other things, ensure they're always using the most recent form available from U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services' website.
HR also can prepare for an ICE visit by letting managers and front-line employees know what they should or shouldn't say to ICE officials and whom in the company to contact in the event of a visit. An attorney also should review any documents ICE provides, Lori Chesser, chair of the Davis Brown Law Firm's immigration department, recently told HR Dive.