Employment immigration to the United States can start with a long paperwork process. Those who avoid it and work illegally are at risk of discovery and deportation. But those who have gone through the paperwork and are employed as legal immigrants can still be at risk of being involved in investigations like the one that hit several Super Mercado Jalisco stores last month.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that search warrants were issued by IRS and ICE agents on Dec. 12th across Duluth, Marietta, Norcross, Lawrenceville and Roswell. Court records stated that allegations of both undocumented workers and a failure to report income spurred the investigation. Federal investigators surveilled each location, gathered bank records, and took informant statements before issuing the warrants and searching the six grocery stores.
Upon investigation, ICE issued notices to 43 immigrants suspected of working undocumented as well as arrested three employees who had been deported prior. While the affidavit mentioned the informant tips said “[Jose] Covarrubias knew that the employees hired by him were often illegal and did not have legitimate employment documents,” an attorney representing the owner and grocery store chain denied the charges regarding said undocumented workers.
These sorts of investigations are liable to take place in any situation that the government deems suspect. It is important that those who are employed as legal immigrants avoid being lumped into these searches by having their proper paperwork and identification available to present. To avoid the hassle and continue working with peace of mind, it is recommended that parties seek out legal consultation to ensure that their immigration status is clear before and during their employment.