While immigration law has been bubbling to the surface in recent months, the issue quickly jumped to the forefront in April as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted raids on IFCO Systems, the nationís largest pallet recycler. Law enforcement authorities arrested 1,187 people from more than 40 individual locations in 26 states.
The IFCO raids were the largest single worksite enforcement operation against a company in American history. The raids represent a new approach for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as it moves from a policy of fines and civil penalties to more aggressive enforcement and the leveling of criminal charges against businesses that knowingly skirt immigration laws.
The IFCO investigations have sparked concern among industries around the country where many immigrant workers are utilized. Of course, this includes the pallet industry, especially pallet recycling. Even some companies with thorough screening processes have taken notice because it can be easy to acquire fake documents, especially Social Security cards.
Businesses just want to know what they have to do to be legal and risk their liability. And that is what this site helps companies answer. While there are no guarantees that your company will be safe from an ICE investigation, a smart company can reduce the risk of doing anything that could get it in trouble with federal authorities. Even conscientious companies may have illegal workers on the payroll if people apply for work using fraudulent documents and a fake identity. You cannot completely eliminate the chance of someone getting past your system. However, a thorough and reasonable approach to I-9 compliance can shield you and your workers against criminal allegations. The name of the game is risk reduction.