There are several laws in place to prevent people from coming into the country illegally. Many are familiar with the laws prosecuting those who enter the country without permission. However, people may be less familiar with the laws prosecuting those who help bring these people into the country or shelter them.
A Lincoln federal immigration crimes lawyer could help you if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) believes that you have hired, harbored, or transported an illegal alien. The persistent defense attorneys at Berry Law can work to protect your rights during an initial investigation and during any subsequent criminal charges that may follow.
Obligations of Lincoln Business Owners
The USCIS places a responsibility on all employers in the country to ensure all potential employees are legally permitted to work in the United States. While the employee must provide proof of their citizenship, it is the responsibility of the employer to verify that these documents are legitimate. Using Form I-9, an employer can certify that the potential employee has proper authorization to work in the United States.
While there is no obligation on the part of employers to provide these forms to any government agency upon completion, USCIS may request to review them if they believe that an employer hired someone who is not authorized to work in the United States. A failure to keep these forms or to complete them may lead to serious penalties.
According to 8 CFR §274a.10, a conviction for a violation of this code could bring civil penalties of up to $4,473 for a first offense. In addition, a person may also face a criminal penalty for engaging in a pattern of violations of this law. This can result in a jail sentence of no more than six months, a fine of up to $3,000 for each unauthorized worker, or both. A Lincoln federal immigration crimes lawyer could help explain the legal processes behind determining a person’s eligibility to work.
Other Federal Immigration Crimes
The federal immigration laws concerning entering the country without permission are strict. To limit these attempts, the law also prohibits people from helping illegal immigrants avoid customs or border patrol.
Known as smuggling, 8 USC §1324(a)(1)(A)(i) says that it is illegal to help any person who someone knows to be an illegal alien enter the country. The core version of this statute carries a potential five-year prison sentence, but if the person performs this act with a profit motive, the penalty increases to up to ten years.
Additionally, it is illegal to protect known illegal aliens from border control or ICE. 8 USC §1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) is the county’s law prohibiting the harboring of illegal aliens. This statute states that it is illegal for any person to conceal, harbor, or conceal someone he or she knows to be an illegal alien. Much like the laws prohibiting smuggling, the penalties can range from a maximum of five years in prison for common offenses with enhanced penalties for economic crimes.
A Lincoln Federal Immigration Crimes Attorney Can Be an Ally
The United States Border Patrol and ICE take the country’s immigration laws extremely seriously. They have broad powers to investigate alleged criminal activity concerning the violation of these laws. This can result in a variety of criminal charges.
Any of these charges can bring serious consequences for you and your business. A Lincoln federal immigration crimes lawyer can help. They can work to fight back against allegations of improperly helping or hiring illegal aliens and ensure your rights are protected. Call Berry Law today to schedule a confidential consultation.