Employers in three states targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents as part of an enhanced effort to combat illegal-alien employment schemes have been arrested for, or pleaded guilty to, charges of harboring illegal aliens.
ICE spokesman Dean Boyd said two limited-liability corporations in Kentucky — Asha Ventures LLC and Narayan LLC — pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal charges of harboring illegal aliens and money laundering in an illegal employment scheme at hotels. They agreed to pay $1.5 million cash in lieu of forfeiture and create internal compliance programs.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for October.
In Ohio, ICE agents arrested the owner of a restaurant on felony charges of harboring illegal aliens after 10 of his illegal workers were apprehended, Mr. Boyd said. Chinese citizen Jiang Fei Jiang, 36, who owns and operates Bee’s Buffet in Fairfield, was arrested Thursday.
In Arkansas on Tuesday, ICE agents arrested the owner of a construction business — Arevalo Framing Associates in Springdale — on felony charges and apprehended 27 of his illegal workers, ICE said. Alejandro Arevalo, the manager of Arevalo Framing, was charged with harboring illegal aliens and re-entry after deportation.
“ICE is taking an increasingly tough stance against egregious corporate violators that knowingly employ illegal aliens. Bringing criminal charges against these unscrupulous employers and targeting their ill-gotten gains is a tactic we are adopting nationwide,” said Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads ICE.
Mr. Boyd said that during fiscal 2006, ICE has arrested 445 persons on criminal charges in work-site investigations and apprehended another 2,700 of their illegal workers on immigration violations. During fiscal 2005, he said, ICE arrested 176 persons on criminal charges and another 1,116 illegal-alien workers.