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  • Bloggings: Owners of Clarion Hotels Face Seizure of Hotels for Immigration-Related Violations by Bruce Buchanan

    Bloggings on I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

    Bruce Buchanan

    Owners of Clarion Hotels Face Seizure of Hotels for Immigration-Related Violations

    The owners of two Clarion Hotels in the Kansas City area have been in indicted for conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants, five counts of harboring undocumented immigrants, and four counts of wire fraud. If convicted, they face five to 20 years for each conviction, fines of up to $250,000 per count and seizure of their two hotels.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) began their
    investigation based on a tip that the hotels were employing undocumented workers. It is unknown who provided the tip but two possibilities are a former employer or a competitor hotel. Thereafter, ICE-HSI in interviewed a number of employees and determined approximately 50% of the employees were undocumented.

    In the course of the investigation, ICE-HSI sent an undercover agent, who sought work while conceding he did not have "any papers." He was offered employment at less than minimum wage. When he inquired why, he was told because there would be no withholdings from his wages. Thus, the government alleges "the economic motive was to cut costs and to get an advantage on other hotels that abided by the law."

    By seeking the seizure of the hotels, the U.S. government is upping up the penalties for immigration fraud. This is just one more reason why employers should treat immigration compliance with the utmost seriousness.


    About The Author

    Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the at Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C. He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on immigration compliance for employers, and employment/labor law. Mr. Buchanan received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1982 and a B.S. degree from Florida State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Mr. Buchanan has been in private practice since 2003. Beforehand, he served as Senior Trial Specialist for the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years. He also served from 1991 to 2003 as Adjunct Professor at William H. Bowen UALR School of Law, where he taught courses in Labor Law and Employment Law. Mr. Buchanan was chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Law Section from 2011 to 2012 and has been the editor of the TBA's Immigration Law Section Newsletter and the TBA's Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter since 2009. Mr. Buchanan is a frequent writer and speaker on immigration compliance as well as labor law, wage & hour law and proposed federal legislation. He is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as the Advocacy Liaison of the Mid-South Chapter of AILA. Mr. Buchanan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) and is an associate member of the Mid-Tennessee Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. Mr. Buchanan is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.


    The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.
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