Immigration Law

Recent Posts

I-9 bust at Mich. dairy farm leads to probation for owners, almost $3M in fines
Posted on 9 Nov 2011 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The owners of Aquila Farms, LLC, were sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and ordered to pay fines totaling $234,000 for hiring [unauthorized] aliens and aiding and abetting each other to do so. The convictions were the result of an... Read More

Lessons from Ketchikan
Posted on 31 Oct 2011 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Recently, the Department of Justice, Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) published a precedent decision ( United States of America v. Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc. ) regarding liability for Form I-9 mistakes and omissions... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $22K to $9K: USA v. New Outlook Homecare
Posted on 20 Feb 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The total penalty sought was $21,598.50. ... Given the nature of the business and considering the record as a whole in light of the general public policy of leniency toward small entities set out in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §... Read More

Tags: fine , ocaho , penalty , I-9 , homecare

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $90K to $25K: USA v. Century Hotels
Posted on 11 Jun 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE or the government) filed a four-count complaint alleging that Century Hotels Corporation, d.b.a. Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites (Century or the company) engaged in ninety-one violations of 8 U.S.C. §... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Penalty from $187K to $97K: USA v. Speedy Gonzalez Construction, Inc.
Posted on 13 Feb 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The government originally sought $192,843.75 for the 185 violations alleged, but modified its request in light of the fact that six of its allegations were not proved. ICE now seeks $186,859.75 for the 179 violations actually found. ... In addition... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $41K to $9K; ICE Must Specify Violations: USA v. Super 8
Posted on 30 Jul 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"In order to establish liability for a particular violation, it is first necessary for the government to state with specificity what the violation is. See United States v. Stanford Sign and Awning, Inc., 10 OCAHO no. 1145, 7 (2012). ICE was accordingly... Read More

No Reduction of Fine in Latest OCAHO I-9 Case: USA v. Symmetric Solutions ($77K)
Posted on 17 Feb 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The government’s motion contends that it is entitled to summary decision as to both counts, as well as to penalties totaling $77,000. ... [W]hile I do not necessarily concur with all aspects of the government’s rationale, Symmetric has... Read More

Tags: fine , ocaho , penalty , I-9 , symmetric

More Lessons from Ketchikan
Posted on 1 Nov 2011 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Today, we’ll wrap up our review of the Ketchikan case and provide some takeaways for organizations that are ready to clean their I-9 house." - John Fay, Oct. 31, 2011 . Read More

OCAHO on I-9 violations: Alyn Industries
Posted on 17 Nov 2011 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The complainant’s motion for summary decision is granted as to liability, and granted as modified with respect to penalties. Alyn Industries, Inc. is directed to pay a total of $43,000 in civil money penalties. All other pending motions are... Read More

Tags: fine , ocaho , penalty , I-9

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $332.8K to $228.3K: USA v. M&D Masonry, Inc.
Posted on 18 Mar 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"[C]onsideration of the record as a whole persuades me that the principle of proportionality would be better served by adjusting the penalties to an amount that is still near the higher end of the mid-range, but somewhat lower than the $981.75 sought... Read More

Tags: fine , ocaho , penalty , I-9 , masonry

OCAHO levies $173K fine on drywall company for I-9 violations
Posted on 6 Oct 2011 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"KDS is directed to pay penalties totalling $173,250.00." USA v. Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc., Aug. 11, 2011 . Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $265K to $89K: USA v. Two For Seven, LLC
Posted on 24 Jan 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"ICE has requested a penalty of $935 per violation, totaling $264,605 for two hundred eighty-three violations. ... ICE’s proposed fine, moreover, amounts to more than half of the company’s income for 2011, an excessive fine for a relatively... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $15.8K to $7.4K: U.S.A. v. Metropolitan Warehouse
Posted on 24 Dec 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Proportionality is essential in setting penalties, Pegasus, 10 OCAHO no. 1143 at 7. The goal is to reach a result that is sufficiently meaningful to accomplish the purpose of deterring future violations, United States v. Jonel, Inc., 8 OCAHO no... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $38K to $17K
Posted on 23 Jul 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The amount the government requests is $38,335, more than a third of the company’s undistributed profits, and in any event appears unduly harsh in light of the record and the setbacks the company is experiencing. Considering the record as a... Read More

Tags: penalty , I-9