In May of this year, we learned that Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) planned to increase I-9 audits, and that the agency’s focus would be on criminal cases against employers and deporting employees who are in the country illegally.
Enforcement investigations have doubled last year’s total, and arrests have nearly quadrupled. According to a SHRM article written by Roy Maurer, in a seven-month timeframe, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened 3,510 worksite investigations, initiated 2,282 I-9 audits, that resulted in 594 criminal and 610 administrative related arrests.
There are three reasons immigration agents may knock on an employer’s door:
Immigration and Customs Enforcements intends to conduct up to 15,000 Form I-9 audits per year. Additionally, ICE recently changed the way it calculates civil penalties to increase the fines imposed for I-9 violations.
Michael H. Neifach, an attorney in the Washington, D.C., region office of Jackson Lewis states “preparing for possible inspections by auditing your employment verification processes and records is an essential precaution.”
It is even more important than ever for HR professionals to ensure that they’re properly completing and retaining I-9 forms and related documents.
If you need assistance auditing your I-9 forms, reach out to Purple Ink.