Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz vowed that if elected to the United States Senate he will “fight to end illegal immigration” despite the fact that his family business was fined millions of dollars by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) for knowingly employing illegal immigrants.
“As your United States Senator, I will fight to end illegal immigration and soft-on-crime policies that release dangerous, undocumented criminals into sanctuary cities,” Oz tweeted on Sunday.
In 2017, Asplundh Tree Experts, Co., a tree-trimming company founded by the grandfather of Dr. Oz’s wife Lisa, was fined $95 million by ICE–the largest ever levied in an immigration case–for hiring undocumented workers. Oz is listed as a shareholder in the company according to federal filings.
“Asplundh Tree Experts, Co., one of the largest privately-held companies in the United States, headquartered in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to unlawfully employing aliens in connection with a scheme in which the highest levels of Asplundh management remained willfully blind while lower level managers hired and rehired employees they knew to be ineligible to work in the United States,” a 2017 ICE press release read.
“Today’s judgment sends a strong, clear message to employers who scheme to hire and retain a workforce of illegal immigrants: we will find you and hold you accountable. Violators who manipulate hiring laws are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we will continue to take action to remove this magnet,” then-ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said.
Oz’s campaign spokeswoman Erin Perrine told the New York Post that “neither Dr. Oz nor Lisa Oz have even worked at the company or had any involvement in decision-making regarding its business practices, period.”
“Dr. Oz and Lisa Oz are passive shareholders in the company along with 200+ other family members. As passive, minority shareholders, Dr. Oz and Lisa Oz had zero involvement in the settlement,” Perrine added.
Oz, a celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by Donald Trump was declared the winner of the GOP primary earlier this month after a dayslong statewide recount. In November he will face Pennsylvania’s current lieutenant governor John Fetterman who won the Democratic party nomination.