The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Unit has reiterated its intent to seek criminal prosecution for employers that willingly hire and employ undocumented workers.
ICE is the federal division that investigates companies for immigration worksite violations.
Earlier this week, ICE sent out more than 650 Notice of Inspections (NOIs) to companies across the country. When an employer receives an NOI, it is required to provide ICE with copies of all employees’ I-9 forms and related documentation — usually within three business days.
The audits are only the first step. Even if ICE doesn’t launch a criminal investigation, companies with I-9 violations may still face civil fines.
Here’s what employers who receive NOIs may want to bear in mind:
- Respond to ICE promptly, even if you have to request a time extension
- Maintain copies of all documents sent in response to the NOI
- Avoid any action that may be considered “tampering” with documentation, such as back-dating or correcting I-9 forms, and
- Consider an internal I-9 review process to examine your company’s procedures.