Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Since February 25, 2018, deportation officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) have conducted targeted immigration enforcement operations in the San Francisco, California area and arrested more than 150 individuals who are allegedly in violation of federal U.S. immigration laws, according to a statement from ICE last updated on February 28, 2018.

The ICE ERO worked on leads developed by the local field office in conjunction with the National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC). Approximately half of the individuals arrested also have criminal convictions in addition to their immigration violations, including convictions for assault/battery, crimes against children, weapons charges, and Driving Under the Influence (DUI), ICE stated.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan said in the statement. “Thanks to the dedicated and professional work of ICE deportation officers, we were able to remove many public safety threats from the streets of the Bay Area during the past few days.”

ICE stated that some of the individuals arrested face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation. Those arrested who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the United States. Those arrested who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.

During a similar immigration enforcement operation earlier this month in Los Angeles, California, 88 percent of those arrested by ICE were convicted criminals. In Fiscal Year 2017, ICE arrested 20,201 aliens throughout California, 81 percent of whom were convicted criminals. The complete statement from ICE is at www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-statement-immigration-enforcement-activities-northern-california.

ESR News reported that ICE served 122 notices of inspection (NOIs) to businesses in the Los Angeles area during a five-day targeted operation that ended on February 15, 2018. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) served the NOIs to alert business owners in the Los Angeles area that ICE will audit their hiring records to determine whether or not they are hiring workers not legally eligible to work in the United States.

Businesses will face civil fines and potential criminal prosecution from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) if they are found to not be in compliance with the law. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals they hire, and to document that information using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.

In Fiscal Year 2017 – which lasted from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017 – ICE conducted 1,360 I-9 audits and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests. Businesses were ordered to pay $97.6 million in judicial forfeiture, fines, and restitution and $7.8 million in civil fines, including one company whose financial penalty of $95 million represented the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.

Is Your Company Ready for an I-9 Audit by ICE?

All U.S. employers must confirm work eligibility for employees in the United States. Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps with E-Verify and Form I-9 compliance to ensure employers hire legally eligible workers in the United States. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Form-I-9-E-Verify/.

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