Businesses Accused of Harboring Illegals

Two Clinton County, Ill. Businesses plead guilty to harboring illegal immigrants for business and personal gain on Friday.

Behrmann Meat Processing Inc. and Behrmann Yorkshire farm agreed to forfeit $50,000 to the federal government and will pay a $5,000 fine because of the plea agreement. Company owners also agreed to participate in compliance training and will allow employment compliance inspections to be conducted in both businesses by Department of Homeland Security – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

Businesses Accused of Harboring IllegalsBorder patrol and customs agents discovered the violations when three illegal immigrants attempted to access Scott Air Force Base. Stephen Wigginton, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois told Valerie Schremp Hahn of the STL Today website that owner Dennis Behrmann admitting to knowing the three immigrants was in the country illegally and continued to employ them. Clifford Behrmann admitted to renting a house on the Behrmann Yorkshire Farm property to one of the workers.

Both businesses could have faced a maximum of a $500,000 fine and one to five years of probation for the immigration law violation. Authorities say that several “No Match” letters were sent to the companies before prosecution was undertaken.

Immigration laws have undergone major changes in the last several years. If your business is having trouble determining the status of migrant workers or if you have been contacted by immigration authorities contact a qualified Cook County, Illinois business attorney for a consultation. They can help you determine whether you are within the law when it comes to your hiring practices for immigrant workers.