Running a business is a complicated but rewarding endeavor. Business owners understand that they must stay up-to-date on local labor laws and tax regulations, but they also need to understand their obligations under the federal immigration laws. Federal immigration statutes dictate who is authorized to work in the United States, which affects people looking for jobs as well as the companies that may hire them.
It is illegal for any company to hire a worker who does not have proper employment authorization, and business owners must take steps to ensure compliance with the law. Failure to follow these steps could lead to criminal charges, specifically allegations of harboring illegal aliens.
An Omaha federal immigration crimes lawyer can help business owners who have been charged with violating federal immigration laws. A seasoned attorney from our firm can explain the role of business owners in immigration enforcement and work to defend them federal court.
Harboring Illegal Aliens
Just as it is illegal for any person to enter the US without a proper visa, it is against the law for a private citizen or company to give an undocumented immigrant shelter from ICE investigations. Additionally, 8 United States Code §1324 prohibits helping illegal immigrants enter the country as well as bringing a person with a visa across the border at any place other than a port of entry. As a result, companies may face criminal allegations if they do not follow proper work visa procedures.
Further, 8 U.S.C. §1324(A) states that a person can be charged with harboring an illegal alien if they are aware that someone is in the country illegally, and hides or attempts to hide them from discovery with full knowledge and in heedless nonobservance of their alien status. If a business is accused of harboring illegal aliens for a financial gain, they may be charged under 8 U.S.C. §1324(B). Penalties can include fines, a prison sentence, or both. An Omaha attorney could work with companies to evaluate their actions regarding federal immigration laws and harboring undocumented workers.
Conspiracy to Harbor and Conceal Aliens
Conspiring to shelter or hide an illegal alien is when someone plans to engage in or help someone else engage in federal immigration crimes. The criminal penalties for conspiracy to harbor an illegal alien depend on a variety of factors, including whether the alleged offender received an economic benefit or if the act resulted in someone’s injury or death. The standard sentence for conspiracy to harbor an illegal alien is up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine.
If someone is charged with and convicted of harboring an illegal alien, they could be incarcerated for up to 5 years – or up to 10 years if they acted to receive an economic benefit. If the criminal act of conspiring to harbor or harboring and hiding an illegal alien leads to someone’s death, the court may impose a much higher prison sentence.
Human Trafficking Charges in Omaha
Human trafficking is a federal offense that can lead to life in federal prison. There are two primary forms of human trafficking charges – sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Sex trafficking occurs when someone enlists, hides, conveys, supplies, secures, or seeks out another individual to obtain sexual services for which either party will receive some type of profit. Sex trafficking is also characterized by the perpetrator’s use of duress or deceit.
Labor trafficking involves enlisting, concealing, conveying, supplying, or securing an individual to perform work and using deceit or duress to compel them into unwilling subjugation or slavery. A person can also be charged with conspiracy to engage in human trafficking and face legal punishments including lengthy prison sentences and the requirement to pay restitution, among other potential sanctions.
Let an Omaha Federal Immigration Crimes Attorney Help
Ensuring that your company has a diverse and legal workforce is essential to growing your business. Federal immigration laws require every company to ensure that its employees have the proper authorization to work in the US. Additionally, it is illegal for companies to knowingly aid in illegal immigration or to harbor undocumented aliens. Accusations of these violations can result in criminal charges that carry harsh consequences.
Whether the allegations brought against you and your company involve improper employee documentation practices, bringing illegal aliens into the country, or harboring immigrants for financial gain, an Omaha federal immigration crimes lawyer can fight for you. Contact Berry Law to discuss your charges in a confidential consultation.