Reports called it the “largest workplace bust in U.S. history.” In a 26-state round up of illegal workers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 1,187 illegal workers and a number of people involved in hiring those workers at IFCO Systems. The pallet and container company issued a statement that it has a policy of complying with all federal and state employment provisions. “We take the allegations made by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement very seriously and are committed to resolving this matter as soon as possible.”
Saying that the company was cooperating fully with authorities, the statement indicated all IFCO facilities are operating and “working diligently to meet the all [sic] of our customers’ needs.”
The U.S. government had reportedly filed criminal conspiracy charges against seven current and former managers at IFCO. The federal charges allege IFCO managers actively recruited illegal workers and even supplied fake work documents. Initial reports on the investigation said 53.4% of the Social Security Account Numbers for IFCO’s 5,800 workers were either invalid, belonged to children or the deceased, or did not match names registered with the Social Security Administration.
One senior IFCO executive told the Houston Chronicle mid-level managers work autonomously and have discretion in hiring decisions.
For information on employment eligibility requirements: http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/files/i-9.pdf