Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Manager Pleads Guilty Plea in Agri-Processor ICE Raid Case

The Associated Press reported on August 28 that Martin De La Rosa-Loera, a supervisor at the Agri-Processors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, has pled guilty to “aiding and abetting the harboring of illegal immigrants”.  The charges stem from a massive immigration raid on the company in May of this year.  He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

WHAT THIS MEANS:  

The guilty plea specfies that he – a supervisor at a plant – was violating federal law by “knowing and recklessly disregarding the fact that” workers were illegally in the country [Emphasis added.]

IMHO, this plea – accepted by the defendant – establishes a new level of risk to ALL levels of corporate management, not just HR and Legal departments.  Given all of the massive publicity the Department of Homeland Security has given the subject of employment verification, I-9 regulations and, most notably, E-Verify, the use of the term “recklessly disregarding” should prompt urgency among compliance departments nationwide.

Why?  Because Mr. De La Rosa-Loera is a manager, not a principal! Think about that term, "recklessly disregarding".  Translation: any decent human being who finds out in one form or another that one of his or her employees may not be in legal status and does not immediately act to terminate that person is "recklessly disregarding" the law, according to this decision.  So now, middle management is tasked with immigration enforcement and if they don't do it...they go to jail.

This decision, and the continued ICE/DHS rhetoric, leaves little doubt that major U.S. employers who STILL continue to hem and haw about implementing a comprehensive employment verification solution are prime targets for prosecution.  

I remain deeply concerned at the number of major employers who are, without a doubt, “recklessly disregarding” their legal obligation to have a current and provable employment status program.  If this sounds like your company, please contact Terry Madden at tmadden@i9advantage.com so he can demonstrate why America’s leading employers are turning to i9 Advantage as their comprehensive I-9 compliance solution.





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