New ICE Crackdown – 1,000 New Companies to Be Audited

IMAGEAccording to the Wall Street Journal, The Obama Administration has authorized a new crackdown on employers, notifying 1,000 companies across all 50 states that the government plans to inspect their hiring records.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits are designed to hold employers accountable for their workforce. Penalties for employers found in violation of a Form I-9 audit can include fines or criminal charges, including tax evasion. The businesses being targeted were not named in the report, but range from small to large and, according to ICE officials, operate in areas defined as “critical infrastructure and key resources,” including food production, information technology, financial services and construction.

This crackdown further reinforces the Obama Administration’s stance on employer accountability. The responsibility of hiring a legal workforce is placed squarely on employers.

In other IMAGE news, Representative Lamar Smith (R., Texas) announced legislation that would make the use of E-Verify, a government database that checks employment eligibility,  mandatory for all employers. Similar legislation has been put into law recently in Alabama and Tennessee, requiring employers to use E-Verify to check the employment status of new hires. The Alabama law requires all employers to enroll in E-Verify by April 1, 2012.