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Breaking: ICE Raids Landscaping Company, 114 Employees Arrested, and Employer Under Investigation

In a surprise morning raid yesterday, hundreds of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents descended upon an Ohio gardening and landscaping company and arrested over 100 of the landscaping company’s employees, who were determined to be employed in the United States without lawful authorization.

The Associated Press reported that the “operation was part of the White House’s increasing focus on businesses that hire people in the country illegally amid a broad range of immigration crackdowns under President Donald Trump that include stepped-up deportations, targeting of sanctuary cities, and zero-tolerance border policies.”

While no criminal charges have been brought against the employees, the AP reports that ICE expects to bring “criminal charges including identity theft and tax evasion.”  ICE’s investigation into the landscaping company is ongoing.  Significant civil penalties are assured, while criminal charges are expected.

New Jersey is home to hundreds of landscaping and gardening companies.  This, taken together with the significant immigrant population in the state, makes New Jersey a prime target for ICE investigators and agents.  Given this, New Jersey employers are reminded to be proactive to remedy immigration-related matters involving their employees before ICE comes knocking.

If you have any questions about this post or any other immigration matter, feel free to contact me, Raymond G. Lahoud, at rglahoud@nmmlaw.com.