According to The Daily Beast, which claims to have obtained an internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) memo, ICE agents will soon be targeting a “national food service chain.” The chain was unnamed in the report.
Statistics indicate that the food service industry workforce in general consists of some 9 percent undocumented workers.
Tom Homan, acting ICE director, recently announced that his agents would be increasing their “worksite enforcement” rate by four- or five-fold and would be deporting any illegal aliens found at a business and also punishing owners who violate the law.
“Not only are we going to prosecute the employers that hire illegal workers, we’re going to detain and remove the illegal alien workers,” Homan said recently in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
“When we find you at a work site, we’re no longer going to turn our heads,” Homan said after the event, according to CNN. “We’ll go after the employer who knowingly hires an illegal alien… but we’re always going to arrest a person who is here illegally. That is our job.”
The new emphasis follows a striking 2015 legal judgment against Farrukh Baig, who owned and operated 14 7-Eleven stores. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to wire fraud and to “concealing and harboring illegal aliens,” according to the Justice Department. He was then given an 87-month prison terms.
Over the course of some 13 years, Baig and his store manager accomplices hired more than 100 undocumented workers and used stolen identities to cover up for them. The workers were housed by Baig, who charged them rent, and were paid in cash well below the minimum wage. In just two of those years, prosecutors claim the workers were subjected to $1.25 million in wage theft.
According to The Daily Beast:
The current plan is focused on employers who exploit undocumented workers by illegally paying them below the minimum wage. The operation will target locations around the country and will likely result in charges of “harboring illegal aliens,” according to an ICE official.