Last fall, the acting Director of ICE announced that employers nationwide will be subject to a significant increase in worksite related investigations in 2018. ICE has made clear that criminal and civil enforcement of immigration laws at worksites is an important component of its strategy, with the acting Director pledging to increase worksite audits by “four of five” times this year. We have seen this uptick come to fruition and have worked with several clients to audit their recordkeeping practices and ensure they are compliant with applicable laws.
All employers are subject to an ICE audit of workers’ employment eligibility, and HR professionals involved in hiring and the verification process should ensure that they are familiar with Form I-9 regulations and requirements. Non-compliant employers could face large fines, loss of their business licenses, debarment from government contracts, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution.