U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Beginning New Round of Employer Audits

Immigration and Customs EnforcementAs reported by multiple sources, including the American Staffing Association (ASA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun increasing the number of audits to U.S. employers. Although there has been no formal announcement, there is reason to believe that ICE is conducting a new round of audits and according to the ASA, “legal analysts estimate that several hundred employers nationwide will be receiving notices of inspection (NOIs).”

The NOIs will include requests for items such as hiring, payroll and other records to determine compliance with employment eligibility verification laws. An employer that receives an NOI has three days to submit Forms I-9 for inspection.

The Obama administration has long stated that they will make immigration compliance a high priority. This new round of employer audits upholds their pledge to focus on illegal immigration and workforce verification. Instead of focusing on the undocumented workers, these federal investigations now focus on the businesses that employ the illegal immigrants. These ICE audits can lead to fines and criminal charges for companies who are found to be in violation of immigration laws. These audits serve as a reminder to companies that there is always the possibility for an ICE audit.

Companies should take this time to:

  • Review Form I-9 compliance procedures
  • Conduct an internal audit
  • Consider using E-Verify or joining the newly revamped IMAGE program

For more information on ICE, E-Verify and IMAGE, please visit www.ice.gov.