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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

Restaurant Owner Faces Jail Time for Undocumented Workers

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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On October 20, 2014, the owner of two Chinese restaurants in Kansas and Missouri pleaded guilty to conspiring to employ and harbor undocumented workers. At sentencing, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of a plea agreement, he admitted to employing at least 12 undocumented workers, paying them in cash and providing them housing.

The investigation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and resulted in the arrest of more than a dozen suspects including operators, managers, and employees connected with Wei’s Super Buffet in Olathe, KS and Wei’s Super Buffet No. 2 in Kansas City, MO.

ICE found six undocumented immigrants at an apartment leased by one of the restaurant owner’s family members. Five other defendants were found guilty at trial of harboring undocumented workers, and participating in a wider conspiracy to obtain motor vehicle registrations, license plates, and titles for undocumented immigrants.

Hiring of unauthorized workers is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA § 274A), which involves the failure of an employer to verify the employment eligibility of any person hired after November 6, 1986, by using the Form I-9.

A copy of the press release from ICE can be found here.
United States v. Wei Liu, et al., No. 13-20114-KHV (D. Kan.)

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Comments

  1. Retired INS's Avatar
    Few employers are dumb enough to pay workers in cash today. Most illegal aliens use counterfeit documents which the employer readily accepts. Employees are paid with checks and taxes and other withholdings are taken out. By doing this, it is difficult to charge employers with knowingly hiring illegal aliens - unless there is evidence the employer assisted in obtaining the counterfeit documents.

    In the 1980s I conducted seminars for farm workers in California. I would ask, "How many of you are paid in cash?" Everyone raised their hand. Twenty years later I asked the same question at seminars and nobody raised their hand. California employers were careful to pay everyone with a check. I asked those who were paid with a check, "How many of you lack immigration papers?" (I promised not to arrest anyone). About half raised their hand to indicate they were illegal, but they still paid with a check.
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