ICE to See if 75 Businesses in NJ Hired Unauthorized Immigrant Workers
A nationwide crackdown on the hiring of people living in the country illegally included ICE officials visiting dozens of New Jersey businesses.
A spokesperson for ICE confirmed that 75 businesses in the state were served notices of inspection. The agency on Thursday did not publicly identify the businesses.
The 75 businesses in New Jersey were just a small fraction of the more than 5,200 notices that were delivered to businesses across the country. These businesses are required to allow ICE agents to check their I-9 forms in order to show they are complying with federal employment laws.
As a result of the more than 5,000 notices, ICE agents arrested more than 90 people. Upon receiving the notices, employers are required to provide their company's I-9s within three days or they could face fines or other legal action. In the fiscal year for 2017, businesses paid more than $97 million in forfeitures, fines and restitution, and another $7 million in civil fines.
"This is not a victimless crime," Acting Executive Associate Director of HSI Derek N. Benner said. "Unauthorized workers often use stolen identities of legal U.S. workers, which can significantly impact the identity theft victim's credit, medical records and other aspects of their everyday life."
ICE workforce enforcement operations can often lead to uncovering other criminal activity, according to a statement from the agency. These crimes can include human trafficking, money laundering, document fraud and substandard working conditions.
Immigration enforcement officers have been busy in New Jersey in recent weeks. ICE recently arrested 37 people in Middlesex County over a five-day period. More than a dozen had been previously arrested and held at the county jail, before being released despite ICE detainer orders.