Flushing out Illegals

By: Marcie Kobriger Email
By: Marcie Kobriger Email

36 illegal workers were flushed out during a raid at Janco on Tuesday, and some speculate that there were even more aliens working there who weren't caught.

With three hundred employees, that’s more than one in every ten Janco workers, working and living in Michiana illegally.

Today we talked to one of the county's largest employers about their hiring process.

With 36 hundred employees, Memorial Health Care is the county's second largest employer.
The company hires doctors, nurses, and administrators, but also custodial staff and food workers. “Our entry level positions, we're probably starting at least 9 dollars an hour, and then when you're up a level with your physicians, you're in the hundred thousands,” Memorial HR Director, Jenny Longbrake, tells us.

Memorial takes on an average of five hundred new employees every year, who are selected out of thousands of applicants.

Longbrake says under her watch, no Memorial employees have had immigration issues. “We want to make sure that the individuals that we have working here at memorial are top notch.”

Like most businesses, before a worker starts their first day, Memorial's employees have to fill out an I-9 tax form. The hospital also does a background check on prospective employees to verify they are who they say they are.

But, Memorial goes above and beyond what's required by law.

”They may have a background check policy based on their insurance regulations, but the U.S. government doesn't require an employer to do a background check on every employee or prospective employee,” immigrations lawyer Michael Durham tells us.

Just the complete 1-9 is required. However, if an employer knows the documents presented to fill out the tax form are fraudulent, the company is liable.

“If Janco had constructed knowledge that the employees didn’t have authorization to be in the United States they could face criminal or civil sanctions. Civil fines starting as low as $250; could go up to jail time,” Durham says.

That I-9 tax form can be completed using a number of different forms of identification; a social security card is not necessary. Durham tells us when making a hire, the employer has to look at those documents, and if they "look" reasonable, and the employer has no reason to doubt their validity, the worker can start.

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