Immigration Enforcement is Becoming More Aggressive in 2018: Are Employers Ready for I-9 Audits From ICE?

by Mike DeBlasi | February 12, 2018 10:57 am

As the French saying goes, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” or “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”  In the world of employment and immigration law, it is a truism that political winds have a dramatic effect.  One by-product of today’s shifting political scene is more intense enforcement from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. An I-9 audit – inspection of the forms employers use to verify employees’ legal authorization to work in the United States – is a part of ICE’s jurisdiction.

These I-9  audits pose high risks to employers — fines for knowingly hiring or employing unauthorized workers can reach as much as $16,000 per violation, while substantive and uncorrected technical violations in record keeping hit $1,100 per violation.  Filling out the I-9 form is not particularly intuitive, and even the most well-meaning employer can make mistakes.

We’ve discussed I-9 forms in this space before.  Given the changing landscape it’s wise to have a brief refresher on I-9 audits.  Some key points for employers to remember:

It’s always a good idea for employers to conduct, prior to being subjected to an ICE audit, a “self-audit” to assess how they are doing in terms of I-9 compliance – forewarned is forearmed!


About the Author: Steve Winer[1]

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