The National Law Review is reporting that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspections at U.S. workplaces has rise dramatically in 2018. As of the end of August 2018, ICE already had conducted 5,200 audits, compared with 1,360 audits in all of 2017. This is nearly a 400% increase, consistent with the Trump administration’s aggressive stance on immigration enforcement efforts.
Federal law has required all employers to verify identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees since 1986. They must have completed I-9 forms and copies of the necessary documentation from the employee no later than three days following the employee’s first day of work. Employers also are subject to extensive retention rules regarding I-9 forms and accompanying documents.
Employer I-9 Audits and Inspections Nearly Quadrupled in 2018
Employers typically receive a Notice of Inspection (NOI) that gives them three days in which to prepare for an I-9 inspection. If ICE has procured a search warrant, then the employer may have even less time. Given these short timeframes, and the increased likelihood of future I-9 inspections, employers should regularly conduct self-audits and train personnel so as to remain compliant with federal law.
The penalties for employers who violate these laws are steep, and the amounts of civil fines assessed continue to increase every year. Paperwork violations, even if only typographical errors, can result in a minimum fine of $224 and a maximum fine of $2,236. If an employer knowingly hires ineligible workers, they can face civil fines ranging from $559 to $4,473 per violation. This is also the case if an employer should reasonably know that a worker’s identification papers are fraudulent or if an employer learns that a worker is ineligible and still continues to employ him or her.
Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to fight for your rights and work toward a resolution of your immigration law case. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of USCIS forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.