• Shipley Do-Nut Flour and Supply Company, based in Houston, as well as its president and 3 managers, pleaded guilty to criminal immigration violations, including conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens, and hiring or continuing to hire illegal aliens. The company has already agreed to pay fines in excess of $1 million and could face additional penalties at the sentencing hearing set for Dec. 19, 2008. The government’s investigation began with a review of the company’s Forms I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, and the follow-up to Social Security Administration “no match” letters that had been sent to the company informing that employee names and social security numbers reported on W-2 forms did not match. Employers are advised to have a solid employment eligibility verification program in place, including procedures for hiring and ensuring continued I-9 compliance. 
  • ICE agents have arrested a current and a former supervisor and more than 50 illegal workers at a baking company in Palm Springs, California. ICE had been investigating the company since 2006 based on a tip that the business allegedly was hiring illegal workers. The supervisors were arrested on criminal charges of continuing to employ unauthorized workers, and, if found guilty, could face up to six months in prison and a monetary fine of $3000 for each unauthorized worker. 
  • As anticipated, ICE has discontinued “Operation Scheduled Departure,” its program originally intended to encourage illegal workers to self-deport from the U.S. The program did not offer any specific incentives to those who might volunteer to depart from the U.S., and the end result was that just eight people came forward.