Dr. Oz on Sunday tweeted he'd "fight to end illegal immigration" if he's elected to the Senate.
In 2017, his wife's business faced the largest fine in ICE history for hiring unauthorized workers.
Asplundh Tree Experts Co. remains family-run; Dr. Oz is listed as a shareholder of the company.
In a Sunday tweet, Mehmet Oz vowed to "fight to end illegal immigration" should he be elected to the Senate, a promise that helped resurface the fact that his family's business faced a record-breaking fine for hiring unauthorized workers.
"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.
The heart surgeon turned TV personality turned Donald Trump-endorsed politician — better known as Dr. Oz — quickly faced backlash from social-media users who called him a liar and shared stories related to a fine levied against a business started by his wife's grandfather.
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.
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) June 12, 2022
The tree-pruning company Asplundh Tree Experts Co., a business for which Oz is listed as a shareholder on regulatory documents, settled with US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in 2017 after a six-year investigation and audit revealed a systemic effort to hire unauthorized workers.
"Asplundh Tree Experts, Co., one of the largest privately-held companies in the United States, headquartered in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, ('Asplundh'), pleaded guilty today to unlawfully employing aliens," an ICE press release about the settlement said, "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."
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The company, which has donated $12,000 to Oz's Senate campaign, was sentenced to pay forfeiture in the amount of $80 million and an additional $15 million "to satisfy civil claims arising out of their failure to comply with immigration law," an amount that represented the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case, according to the press release.
Oz's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment from Insider.
A campaign spokeswoman, Erin Perrine, told the New York Post that neither Oz nor his wife, Lisa, had worked at the company "or had any involvement in decision-making regarding its business practices, period."
"The company reached a civil settlement in 2017 with the federal government with no further action taken since then," Perrine continued. "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."
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