Thomas Homan, the Acting Director of ICE, recently announced that the agency intends to increase the number of workplace enforcements by four to five times the current level. He further said this will include prosecuting more employers that knowingly hire immigrants not legally authorized to work in the United States
Workplace inspections will include auditing of an employer’s Forms I-9 and the arrest and removal of any employees who do not have valid work authorization. In addition, ICE will increase workplace inspections to verify compliance for employees holding nonimmigrant visas in the categories of H-1B, L1, O-1, and R1 status.
Fines for non-compliance will be significant for substantive mistakes when completing Form I-9 and for knowingly employing undocumented workers. ICE recently fined a nationwide tree-trimming company a whopping $95 million for hiring undocumented immigrants. Inspections could also end in criminal prosecutions of businesses, managers, owners, and employees who hire undocumented immigrants.
It is more important than ever for employers to make sure their I-9 forms and processes are compliant. The laws around I-9 compliance are not new. Employers have known since 1986 that they must verify their employees’ right to work in the United States. To avoid investigation, employers should follow the law by:
Tools like E‐Verify can help employers simplify their process, and ultimately ensure their compliance of the laws and avoidance of fines and other penalties. Companies like Cisive offer user‐friendly, automated E‐Verify solutions that capture, store and manage the entire I-9 process.
In our continuing effort to keep our clients out of harm’s way, Cisive has created two informative white papers on I-9 compliance which can be accessed below:
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