If one of my employees was arrested yesterday by ICE, am I in trouble with the law?

Is ICE going to investigate my small cleaning business? What do I do now?

Asked on November 11, 2014 under Immigration Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on why he was arrested and what your involvement was. If the employee lied on a visa, stayed past the expiration of his visa, was here illegally but lied on his employment application to you in a convincing way, etc., then you and your business most likely did nothing wrong and while there may be some brief investigation, it should not rebound on you. You and your business are liable for your failures or actions, not for being deceived by someone else.

On the other hand if you knew or should have known that the employee was illegal and could not work here, or failed to do any verification of eligibility to work, then you could face liability for violating the law. If the authorities believe this may have been the case, there is a reasonable chance they will investigate further.


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