The Associated Press is reporting that Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Yamato Engine Specialists, a manufacturing company in Bellingham, Washington, where 28 people were arrested during a raid by ICE in February. According to the AP, the company is being charged with conspiring to encourage undocumented workers to remain in the United States between 2006 and 2009. Prosecutors also charged two employees with allowing undocumented workers to file false employment forms with the government.
According to the original warrant application made available to us, ICE initiated the investigation against Yamato based on its arrest of two gang members who purportedly worked at the company. In August 2008, ICE subpoenaed the company for all I-9 forms, which showed that several employees had incorrectly presented themselves as lawful permanent residents by using another person’s alien registration number (A-Number). Other employees were shown to have presented A-Numbers and Social Security Numbers which had never been assigned.
Yamato maintains a press release on its web site indicating that it requires all prospective employees to present government required documents to prove that they are entitled to work in the US. Yamato also claims that their policy has been to hire people only if they meet the legal requirements for employment.