CRACK DOWN ON EMPLOYING ILLEGAL WORKERS
Owners of the food chain Chuy’s Mexican Broiler were recently accused of tax fraud and harboring illegal workers. Mark Evenson and his son Christopher, as well as their accountant Diane Ingrid Strehlow face more than 80 years in jail if convicted on all charges against them. This is one of many executed and planned raids on US employers who have a pattern and practice of hiring the undocumented in lieu of US workers. By offering the undocumented lower wages, many eager to work, these employers have steadily cheated the government of millions of dollars in taxes as well as US workers out of jobs. In this continuing economy where joblessness among Americans runs high, these employers are hard pressed to explain their actions before a federal judge.
Over the past two years, USICE in conjunction with the Department of Justice have focused their crackdown efforts on US employers while moving away from criminal arrests of the workers themselves. Long-running investigations of employers have culminated in indictments, convictions, exponentially increased fines and jail sentences. US immigration authorities have expanded the number of businesses facing scrutiny and the cases where employers face severe sanctions. This trend will likely continue in the future.