CFGI Mentioned – “ICE to Employers: Expect More Form I-9 Audits, Arrests and Outreach”


“Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wants employers to understand that, going forward, the agency will increase Form I-9 audits, conduct more worksite raids and promote involvement in the government's voluntary compliance program.

“…Many immigration experts have been preparing employers to expect an increase in worksite enforcement since the Trump administration came into office. The agency's focus is not unexpected…With no pending bills to address unauthorized immigration in Congress, it is unsurprising that worksite enforcement would be the administration's next step to abate it…

“…Civil penalties for knowingly employing unauthorized immigrants can range from $539 to $21,563. 

“…In addition, Form I-9 paperwork violations carry a penalty of $216 to $2,156 per worker. ‘The easiest way for employers to avoid potential fines is to make sure they are complying with their I-9 obligations—before they get audited,’ [Maria del Carmen] Ramos said. ‘Employers should also consider conducting a self-audit to minimize the potential for fines.’

“Things to consider when conducting an I-9 self-audit…include:

  • “Reviewing current policies and procedures for compliance.

  • “Comparing I-9 forms with payroll records to ensure there is a completed form for each employee.

  • “Making sure hard-copy I-9 forms are maintained in a separate file from employees' personnel files, or maintained electronically in compliance with the law.

  • “Correcting and/or replacing the form. 

“…The ICE statement also promoted its ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) voluntary compliance program…As part of the program, ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provide education and training on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection and use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system. Employers also learn about the importance of avoiding discrimination based on immigration status or national origin during the hiring process. 

“…If looking for another resource, the Council for Global Immigration, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, has produced this e-learning course covering employment eligibility laws and regulations, Form I-9 requirements and the E-Verify system, including how to handle typical case results. It includes real-life scenarios and activities, which will prepare users to effectively manage the employment verification process.”

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