ICE to Increase I-9 Audits

ICE Planning More I-9 Audits this Summer

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is preparing for a nationwide increase of Form I-9 compliance audits this summer and wants employers to understand that, going forward, the agency will be increasing the number of audits conducted per year. The easiest way for employers to avoid potential fines is to make sure they are complying with their I-9 obligations—before they get audited.

What Happens If Your Company is Chosen for an Inspection?

In the event of an Form I-9 inspection, employers will be required to post a notice within 72 hours to all employees in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment information.

Things to consider when conducting an I-9 self-audit include:

  • Reviewing current policies and procedures for compliance.
  • Comparing I-9 forms with payroll records to ensure there is a completed form for each employee.
  • Making sure hard copy I-9 forms are maintained in a separate file from employees’ personnel files, or maintained electronically in compliance with the law.
  • Correcting and/or replacing the form. If the employer needs to correct the I-9 form, the new information should be inserted, signed and dated as of the time of the insertion. If the omission or mistake was in Section 1 of the I-9 form, the employee should also sign and date the correction. Above all, the form should not be backdated.

If a technical or procedural violation is found during the inspection, employers are given ten business days to make corrections, and they may receive a monetary fine for substantive and uncorrected technical violations. Employers found to knowingly hire or continue to employ unauthorized workers must cease the unlawful activity and may be fined, criminally prosecuted, or subject to debarment by ICE, which means that the employer will be prevented from participating in future federal contracts and from receiving government benefits.

For further information regarding I-9 compliance audits, feel free to contact Flores Services’ Human Resources Department at 619-588-2411.

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