As a business owner, there are many aspects you must take into consideration when running your company. For instance, federal immigration laws make it illegal to hire unauthorized immigrants. However, many business owners fail to obtain proper documentation prior to hiring new employees and face harsh penalties as a result. More and more businesses in our area are facing charges for alleged federal immigration crimes.

Fortunately, an experienced federal criminal defense attorney at Berry Law can aggressively advocate on your behalf to help fight your charges. If you were accused of hiring an undocumented worker, you should contact a Nebraska federal immigration crimes lawyer as soon as possible.

How Does Federal Law Address Employment of Illegal Aliens?

Under 8 United States Code §1324a, it is illegal for any company to knowingly hire, recruit, or refer someone who is not a legal resident of the United States. Federal immigration crimes also include employing someone after finding out they are an illegal alien as well as making use of such labor on a contract basis rather than by providing legal employment.

This statute also mandates local business owners to verify the employment status of anyone they intend to hire with documents that establish both the prospective worker’s identity and their authorization to work in the United States. Certain documents, such as passports and resident alien cards, can fulfill both requirements. A worker’s identity may also be confirmed through a driver’s license or other state-issued photo I.D., and work authorization may be confirmed through a Social Security card or work visa.

A business owner who is convicted for failing to comply with these verification requirements or for knowingly employing an illegal alien may face a fine of up to $2,000 for each first-time violation. Subsequent offenses may be punished by fines of up to $10,000 per illegal worker, as well as significant prison time. Because of these enhanced penalties for repeat federal immigration offenses, it is advisable to work with a local attorney to address any concerns you may have about your company.

Contesting Federal Immigration Crimes in Nebraska

Intent is key when it comes to federal immigration crimes related to the employment of illegal aliens. If a business owner is unaware of an employee’s lack of work authorization and/or acted in good faith to remedy the situation once they learned about it, they may be able to create an effective defense strategy.

However, a local employer could still face fines and prison time if they had constructive knowledge of a worker’s illegal status. In other words, if a business owner should have reasonably known or been able to infer that one or more of their workers did not have proper documentation to work in the United States, they could face fines and/or jail time for continuing to employ those workers.

Contesting the prosecution’s assumption of constructive knowledge is often a central component of local federal immigration crimes cases. A Nebraska lawyer at Berry Law can help business owners in our area determine how to best approach their particular case.

Work with a Nebraska Federal Immigration Crimes Attorney Today

If you are unsure about what to do after being accused of violating U.S. employment law, you should contact an experienced defense attorney. A Nebraska federal immigration crimes lawyer at our firm can provide legal guidance and support throughout every part of your case. However, it is important to act quickly when facing these kinds of allegations, as any violations of federal labor statutes could result in steep fines and jail time. Call Berry Law today to schedule your confidential consultation.

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