A Missouri Chinese restaurant is under fire with U.S. immigration officials after the owner is charged with harboring immigrant workers who are in the country illegally. After the investigators reviewed reports, they found something suspicious and decided to pursue the case further.
The federal prosecutor filed a criminal complaint recently against the owner of Wei’s Super Buffet Restaurants which are located in Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. Wei Liu made an appearance in a U.S. District court on charges which include employing, transporting and housing workers in the country illegally. According to The Republic and Associated Press, his wife and four others are also being charged. Federal investigators began surveillance of the restaurants after they reviewed labor reports and interviewed managers of apartments where the employees were living. Some workers were even found living at the homes of the defendants.
The court case is just underway and there are still no attorneys for either side announced. However, even though it is still early on in the case, the odds are not looking in favor of Liu. Recently, ICE has been cracking down hard on businesses who knowingly employee undocumented immigrants. It is important for owners or employers to verity that the person they hire is in the country legally otherwise they face a large penalty and even jail time. Following the precedent of previous cases, depending on how the immigrants were treated and whether other offenses will be found, may determine the final sentence for the owner and his affiliates. It is recommended that when in doubt, owners should consult an immigration attorney to ensure that no laws are being broken.
If you have questions regarding the new immigration reform, applying for a visa or the changing immigration laws, contact us at 314-961-8200 or visit our contact page.