JUSTICE: Mississippi Businessman Gets Prison Sentence for Harboring Illegal Aliens
Madison, MS resident Hector Valdez-Loera, 42, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison after being convicted of harboring an illegal alien for commercial advantage and private financial gain on Friday.
Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III also called for three years of supervised release after Valdez-Loera completed his sentence in addition to a fine of $79,784.00 to cover administrative costs.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) found out about Valdez-Loera’s criminal activities while hunting for an illegal alien fugitive on April 13, 2017. ERO officials went to a home in Ridgeland, MS where they found two other illegal aliens, and then tracked the illegal they were following to Madison Concrete, the business owned by Valdez-Loera.
When ERO arrived at Madison Concrete, many workers who feared deportation immediately fled into the woods. They were unable to be apprehended, and ERO soon discovered that Valdez-Loera had not checked E-Verify records for his workers. He also hired illegals who either did not have social security cards or used them fraudulently. He also used his own financial information to gain housing for at least two illegals.
Valdez-Loera pled guilty to the charges on May 24, 2019. The state of Mississippi is on ICE’s radar, as they are conducting sweeps through large businesses to make sure illegals are not being harbored by profit-obsessed capitalist firms.
In August, ICE targeted the agriculture industry of the Magnolia State, serving federal search warrants toward businesses believed to employ illegals:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed multiple federal criminal search warrants at seven agricultural processing plants across Mississippi Wednesday morning as part of an ongoing HSI worksite enforcement criminal investigation.
In addition to executing federal search warrants and seizing business records pertaining to the ongoing federal criminal investigation, deportation officers with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in partnership with HSI detained approximately 680 removable aliens who were unlawfully working at the plants.
All the unlawfully present foreign nationals arrested Wednesday are being interviewed by ICE staff to record any potential mitigating humanitarian situations. Based on these interviews, and consideration of their criminality and prior immigration history, ICE is determining on a case-by-case basis based on the totality of the circumstances which individuals will be detained and which persons may be released from custody at present. In all cases, all the illegal aliens encountered as part of this operation are either being placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts, and for those who already received due process and have been ordered removed, processed for removal from the U.S.
The Trump administration has made sure that a strong example is being set that there will be severe penalties for businesses that employ illegal aliens.