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March 27, 2019Los Angeles, CA, United StatesLabor Exploitation

2 Los Angeles companies partner with Homeland Security Investigations to strengthen corporate hiring practices

Luxury travel retailer and world-wide event security services company join “IMAGE” program

LOS ANGELES — A leading luxury travel retailer and a company recognized for their expertise in the crowd management field are the latest Los Angeles-area employers to join a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) program designed to strengthen hiring practices and reduce unauthorized employment.

DFS Group and Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) recently signed agreements to participate in IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers), a voluntary program in which HSI partners with businesses to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents. Both companies received their certificates last week, formally marking their companies’ entry into the program.

As Los Angeles’s newest IMAGE members, DFS Group and CSC have agreed to partner with HSI and perform the actions required to obtain IMAGE certification. These actions include conducting a self-assessment of hiring practices to uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited by unauthorized workers; enrolling in E-verify, an employment eligibility verification program; training staff on IMAGE Best Employment Practices and the use of new screening tools; and undergoing a Form I-9 audit by ICE.

“Employers who use an illegal workforce as part of their business model put businesses that do follow the law at a competitive disadvantage,” said Joseph Macias, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Los Angeles. “HSI is committed to upholding the laws that govern worksite enforcement. These laws help protect jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, reduce the incentive of illegal migration, eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and ultimately help strengthen public safety and national security.”

CSC is recognized worldwide as a pioneer and innovator in the crowd management field, having introduced and successfully executed the comprehensive practice of peer group security.  With more than 30,000 employees spread across 45 branch offices, CSC today remains the leader in the crowd management and event security industry, delivering exceptional services for events and venues from as small as one guest to multi-day events hosting hundreds of thousands. Continual and forecasted recruitment, training, deployment and execution of security screening services is the company’s core competency. 

“The IMAGE Program squarely hits on what our company is about," said Jim Lenoue, CSC’s Human Resource Director, Corporate Compliance. “As a company that provides security services at major gatherings, our customers place their trust on our team and our services. Being an IMAGE partner promotes our company’s reputation and its resolve to maintain integrity in our hiring practices,” he said.

DFS Group, established in in 1960, continues to be a pioneer in global luxury travel retail, offering its customers a carefully curated selection of exceptional products from the most desired brands through 420 boutiques on four continents. Its network consists of duty-free stores located in 11 major global airports and 20 downtown T Galleria locations, as well as affiliate and resort locations. DFS Group, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, has around the world and. employs approximately 9,000 people

Undocumented workers create vulnerabilities in today’s marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits, and stealing identities of legal United States workers. To combat this, ICE initiated the IMAGE program in 2006.

“This alliance with IMAGE demonstrates CSC’s and the DFS Groups commitment to maintaining an authorized workforce,” Mr. Macias added. “We are pleased to welcome them to the program and encourage other Los Angeles businesses to follow suit to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents that can put the security of our country at risk.”

IMAGE now offers a formal membership certification program that focuses on exceptional employers that have the ability to effect change within their industry or region. These employers also serve as an example and role model in the business community while highlighting the importance and viability of immigration compliance.

Upon enrollment in and commitment to the IMAGE Best Employment Practices, program participants are deemed “IMAGE certified,” a distinction DHS and HSI believe will become an industry standard. IMAGE also provides free training to all employers on the provisions surrounding the Form I-9, fraudulent document detection, and building a solid immigration compliance model.

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 274B, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. This statute prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee that is based on an individual's national origin or citizenship status. The statute also prohibits discrimination during the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9 and E-Verify) process (document abuse), and retaliation or intimidation. For more information visit the Department of Justice's Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.