A Rise in Workplace Immigration Raids by ICE

The largest workplace raid in a decade by ICE agents took place on the morning of April 3, 2019, in Allen, Texas. After three hundred arrests, it was clear, an enormous audit operation had been launched by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigators.

Since 2017, US immigration and custom officials have overseen a massive 400% surge in the number of workplace immigration raids. These raids are aimed at finding and arresting undocumented immigrants. In 2018, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigators opened approximately 6,848 worksite investigations, which represents a a massive surge compared to the 1,691 workplace investigations opened in 2017.

The spike in investigations is another result of the Trump administration’s continued effort to reshape the current U.S. immigration system. The Trump administration made immigration a top priority during its campaign and is using every tool at its disposal to curb immigration.  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Executive Associate Director Derek N. Benner stated that, “Reducing illegal employment helps build another layer of border security and reduces the continuum of crime that illegal labor facilitates, from the human smuggling networks that facilitate illegal border crossing to the associated collateral crimes, like identity theft, document and benefit fraud and worker exploitation.”

Despite the increase in workplace investigations, criminal indictments and convictions in the immigrant community remained steady compared to previous years.

Workplace raids in Texas saw a rise in 2018 as compared to the previous year. There were several high-profile enforcement actions in the Lone Star State including one in August where over 160 arrests were made at a trailer manufacturer in Sumner, Texas.

Texas isn’t the only place experiencing a crackdown on workplace immigration. In April, HIS executed a federal search warrant at a slaughterhouse in Bean Station, Tennessee, where 104 aliens were arrested. Moreover, in August, HSI executed a series of criminal arrest warrants for 17 individuals connected to an alleged criminal conspiracy to exploit illegal alien laborers for profit, fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, and served search warrants for worksite violations at agricultural firms in Nebraska, Minnesota and Nevada.

Worksite raids like these can occur at anytime and anywhere. As the current administration continues to crack down on workplace immigration, it is imperative to get your employees the correct paperwork to not only protect them but to also protect you and your business.

The Presti Law Firm, PLLC recommends that any person having immigration issues seek out help from an experienced attorney. It is in your best interest to seek help and be prepared, because you never know if the next raid, may take place at your own worksite.