I.C.E. News Release



3 central Texas companies join HSI’s IMAGE program

SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) welcomed three additional partners to the "ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE)" program Tuesday during a signing ceremony.

IMAGE is a nationwide program that assists employers, strengthens hiring practices and curtails the employment of unauthorized workers through outreach, education and partnership.

"HSI is pleased to welcome HSI’s newest partners, Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI), Central Texas OB/GYN Associates and GeoFill Material Technologies (GMT)," said Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala, HSI San Antonio. "HSI is creating a culture of compliance by building cooperative relationships with employers that strengthen hiring practices and encourage employer compliance to ensure a lawful workforce.

Texas Biomedical Research Institute is one of the world’s leading nonprofit, independent biomedical research institutions. Since its founding in 1941, Texas Biomed has gained worldwide recognition in scientific and academic communities for the quality of its research. Scientists from around the world complete life-changing research at Texas Biomed to contribute important new information that helps advance the scientific community's effort to improve health and save lives. TBRI studies viruses in its biosafety level-four laboratories, studies the genetics of obesity and heart disease, and studies stem-cell research on neurological and muscle disorders.

"Texas Biomed employs a global workforce, and we are committed to ensuring total compliance of our responsibilities under immigration law," said John Barnes, vice president of human resources at Texas Biomed. "We are excited to be a part of the IMAGE program, which has been a true partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The program has provided a wealth of resources and information to ensure we maintain an authorized workforce."

Geofill Material Technologies LLC is a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and a Texas Historically Underutilized Business (HUB). Geofill is a full-service general contractor providing the highest-quality construction services to the multi-family housing industry. Launched in 2003, the company has put together a core management team that encompasses more than 60 years in the construction industry.

"We understand the challenges and complexity of hiring a diverse workforce, and felt that we could better provide our clients a workforce authorized and eligible to work in the United States by going through the IMAGE certification process," said Mary Jo and Jack Karam, Geofill CEOs.

Central Texas OB/GYN Associates is a team of 35 leading obstetricians and gynecologists, devoted to women’s health in Austin and Round Rock, Texas. It’s supported by an umbrella organization that prioritizes the patient experience. Together, Central Texas OB/GYN Associates creates a place where women can receive the pinnacle of care from physicians who are free to focus on health and healing.

"This partnership creates for us a valuable resource, which we have already utilized, to assist us with any questions that may arise," said Patti Moore, Central Texas OB/GYN Associates human resource manager. "We are proud to be a partner in the IMAGE Program which helps to support our efforts to be in compliance now and in the future."

As part of the IMAGE program, ICE provides private companies with education and training on proper hiring procedures, including the use of employment-screening tools such as E-Verify. IMAGE-certified companies also undergo an audit of their I-9 forms to ensure current employees are eligible to work in the United States

Central and south Texas employers interested in learning more about IMAGE membership should call the ICE IMAGE coordinator in San Antonio at 210-967-7263 or visit www.ICE.gov/image