Thursday, September 13, 2012

The wrong way to handle an immigration audit

There are right ways to handle an immigration compliance audit and there are wrong ways.

In Los Angeles, Yoel A. Wazana, 38, owner and production manager of Wazana Brothers International, Inc., doing business as Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), decided to try one of the wrong ways and will now have to plead guilty plead to one felony count of false representation of a Social Security number. This comes after a 2008 raid resulted in the arrest of eight company workers on criminal charges and another 130 for  administrative immigration violations. 

Considering the extent to which he attempted to cover up potential problems, he's lucky to get off so lightly:

According to court documents, shortly after MSE received notification in April 2007 that HSI planned to audit the company's payroll and hiring records, Wazana directed that about 80 of MSE's most experienced employees – at least 53 of whom did not have work authorization – be relocated to another manufacturing facility. When investigators requested hiring records from MSE on three separate occasions, the company failed to provide paperwork for those unauthorized workers. The plea agreements filed in this case also describe how, after learning of the ICE audit, Wazana conducted meetings with MSE's assembly line workers, instructing them to obtain valid work authorization documents and return with those documents, suggesting that he did not care if the documents were actually theirs.

As this blog is not written by an immigration attorney, I won't attempt to tell you the right ways to handle an immigration audit, but based upon my experience in the field of HR (and having passed immigration compliance audits), compliance with the law in hiring practices seems like a good way to keep out of trouble.  


Unknown said...

I think that the MSE Raid was just wrong on all different levels. They detained people because they thought they were illegals, based on their skin color or accents. That's just completely wrong. I know that a few were illegals, but instead of detaining all of the workers ICE needed to do their homework to figure out how many people actually were.

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