At the start of this year, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano listed among her priorities the investigation of suspected immigration violations and the stricter enforcement of immigration laws.
So far, it is looking like she means business.
The latest evidence of her intent to follow through on her promise is the May 5, Texas grand jury indictment of five defendants charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and conspiracy to encourage aliens to illegally enter and reside in the U.S.
This most recent indictment alleged that the defendants had conspired since 2004 to knowingly obtain H-2B visas under pretenses that they knew or should have known to be false. The H-2B visa program is for temporary, non-agricultural workers who are typically used to fill seasonal or peak load labor needs of employers.
If the defendants are convicted of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, they could face up to five years in federal prison, and up to 10 years on related counts.
This case illustrates that employers must maintain awareness of the people with whom they are dealing in filling employment slots, especially for seasonal and peak load demands.
If you are an employer in need of more information about business immigration and the law, please check the pertinent section of our Website or call our offices at (847) 564-0712.