January 17, 2018

Department of Homeland Security Increases Workplace Enforcement

Following U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on 98 7-Eleven stores on January 10, 2018, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that more raids on businesses should be expected: “The message we’re trying to send is if you consistently and willfully ignore the laws Congress and the American people have passed, you will be held accountable.”

According to a press release issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a three-prong approach is being implemented to conduct worksite enforcement:

Compliance – Through I-9 inspections, civil fines, and referrals for debarment

Enforcement – The arrest of employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers and the arrest of unauthorized workers for violations of law associated with working without authorization

Outreach – To instill a culture of compliance and accountability

After the 7-Eleven raids, acting head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Derek Benner said that businesses will see more large-scale compliance inspections. These inspections will not be limited to large companies or any particular industry and will include big, medium, and small businesses.

One of the most common ways for ICE to ensure compliance is through inspection of a company’s Forms I-9. Companies will receive a written Notice of Inspection and have 3 days to produce records including all Forms I-9. If paperwork or hiring violations are found, ICE can assess heavy fines.

Employers should not wait for an ICE audit or worksite inspection in order to ensure compliance with immigration laws. Our firm conducts internal audits and can determine whether your business is in compliance and is using best practices for completing Forms I-9. Please contact our office to schedule your internal I-9 audit today.

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