Company Agrees to Pay Government $4.5 Million for Illegal Worker Investigation

by Staff Writer December 31, 2009

Read news release: Justice Department and ICE reach $4.5 million agreement with Pilgrim's Pride

According to a news release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal government and Pilgrim's Pride Corporation have reached an agreement to resolve an investigation involving the hiring and employment of unauthorized aliens at some of the company's Texas plants.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pilgrim's Pride agreed to pay the government $4.5 million and adopt more stringent immigration compliance practices to ensure that its work force is composed of employees legally entitled to work in the United States. As a result of this agreement, Pilgrim's Pride will continue to strengthen its workplace compliance programs and adopt measures recommended by ICE – such as the use of the government’s E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system – to identify and avoid the employment of unauthorized aliens.

As part of the ICE investigation, twenty-five unauthorized aliens were arrested in December 2007 in Texas and charged with misuse of a Social Security Account number. In early 2008, worksite enforcement actions conducted by ICE at five Pilgrim's Pride plants in Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee resulted in the apprehension of approximately 338 unauthorized aliens, and thirty-eight illegal aliens were convicted for misuse of a Social Security Account number.

A designated E-Verify service agent, I-9Compliance.com — a web-based I-9 Form/E-Verify solution from nationally recognized employment screening provider Pre-Employ.com — is pre-integrated with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify system and helps employers ensure I-9 compliance, eliminate errors, and avoid government audits.

For more information about maintaining I-9 compliance, view a complimentary on demand webinar “E-Verify & Federal Contractors: Know The Facts,” visit www.i-9compliance.com, email info@i-9compliance.com, or call 1-800-300-1821.

pr@i-9compliance.com

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