HSI labor exploitation investigations focus on protecting our nation's critical infrastructures, reducing illegal employment and protecting employment opportunities for the country's lawful workforce. Labor exploitation cases target employers involved in criminal activity and worker exploitation, and often entail other forms of criminal activity such as noncitizen smuggling, document fraud, human rights abuses or other violations linked to the employment of unauthorized workers.
The HSI labor exploitation mission has three critical areas:
- Enforcement: HSI conducts critical infrastructure protection investigations and traditional labor exploitation investigations that target egregious worksite violators. The goal of these investigations is to penalize employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers as well as to deter employers who are tempted to hire unauthorized workers.
- Compliance: HSI utilizes debarment, the administrative fine process and E-Verify to encourage all employers to take advantage of well-crafted tools that promote compliance.
- Outreach: The ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) is an outreach program that provides employers with the tools and knowledge that will enable them to hire and maintain a legal workforce.
HSI’s labor exploitation program brings integrity to the immigration system, eases pressure at the borders, promotes self-compliance in the business community and protects employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce. HSI utilizes both criminal and civil authorities as powerful deterrents to unlawful employment schemes. Through HSI's comprehensive labor exploitation strategy, corporate officers, managers and contractors who knowingly hire, exploit or utilize unlawful workers as a business model are held accountable. These efforts protect jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed; eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce; prevent illegal immigration and promote border integrity; and strengthen public safety and national security.