14 people are currently facing criminal charges after weekend raids of several car wash chain locations in Phoenix. 10 of them have entered pleas at their arraignments.
The raids took place at locations associated with Danny’s Family Car Wash, as well as staffing-service provider HR Betty. Some of the employees, almost 30 of them, were taken into custody were taken into custody for past criminal convictions before receiving orders to leave the country. Charges they face include criminal immigration fraud, identity theft and financial violations.
179 other workers were found to have no criminal history and were released from custody with no immigration violation charges.
The bust by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reflects a new approach by federal authorities in confronting employers suspecting of hiring people who aren’t legally in the country.
The raids that take place like this are often called “silent raids,” and the goal of them is to hold employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants. Businesses will often work hard to stave off Immigration and Customs Enforcement audits because they can lead to the loss of many employees and high legal expenses. The raids result in criminal cases against company officials for immigration hiring violations. Many of the people arrested in these raids nationally are managers. Charges also include evading taxes and engaging in identity theft.
By contrast, the workplace raids by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office have led to several hundred employees who are living in the U.S. illegally being arrested on criminal ID theft charges under a state law that aims to crack down on illegal hiring. The sheriff’s office says it tries to build cases against employers, but only two businesses have had their business licenses suspended since the law took effect in 2008.
Immigrant rights advocates who rallied outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office near downtown Phoenix on Monday said the workers were only trying to work to support their families and called for the release of workers who are in custody in immigration cases.
If you have found yourself in the middle of a legal issue regarding criminal charges, contact a phoenix criminal defense attorney at Thrush Law immediately.