ICE officials recently detained hundreds of undocumented workers in Mississippi. When the raids--which took place in seven different cities--were complete, 680 employees were in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

As the debate over illegal immigration rages on, the Mississippi raids also raise an important concern for companies: how much blame do hiring managers and employers hold when it comes to using undocumented people for labor? Is this just a public relations nightmare and staffing disaster for companies, or can charges be levied against these employers?

'The answer is yes on charges, to put it simply," says Rob Wilson, president of Employco USA. "It is illegal not only to hire undocumented persons, but to recruit them or refer them to another employer. Employers who knowingly do so and are shown to have a 'pattern and practice' of hiring undocumented workers can be fined $3,000 per worker and even face potential jail time."

Wilson indicates that the Mississippi raids are proof that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is continuing to...

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