In an ICE blog posted on July 29, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Secretary Julie Myers discussed a recent enforcement case that is emblematic of the activities that unscrupulous businesses engage in to gain unfair advantage - domestic off-shoring. This practice involves building a business around the importation and employment of illegal aliens in an effort to avoid paying higher wages to, and taxes for, American workers.
The case involved El Pollo Rico restaurant in Wheaton, Md., which was at the center of a multi-million dollar criminal conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S. Last week, the restaurant's owners pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor aliens, conspiracy to commit money laundering and structuring bank transactions to evade reporting requirements in connection with the restaurant’s operation. They also agreed to forfeit $8.7 million in illicit proceeds they gained over the years.
As Myers noted in the blog:
The American public has heard numerous accounts of jobs being outsourced to workers offshore who work for less money than do American workers...But little attention has been paid to the use of undocumented aliens as part of a domestic off-shoring scheme...Companies that build their workforce using illegal aliens here in the United States take jobs away from law abiding American citizens and residents who are authorized to work. By cutting corners to cut costs, they unfairly acquire market share to the detriment of responsible businesses playing by the rules.
As of May, ICE made more than 850 criminal arrests during this fiscal year tied to worksite enforcement investigations. 75 of these were owners, managers, supervisors or human resources employees facing charges including harboring or knowingly hiring illegal aliens. The remaining 775 workers criminally arrested facing charges including aggravated identity theft and Social Security fraud.
Updated: Wed, Jul 5th 2017 @ 2:02pm EDT