ICE Targets 1000 Firms with I-9 Audit Notices

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it will notify 1,000 employers that it will audit their hiring records to determine compliance with employment eligibility verification laws.  These Notices of Inspection (NOIs) often request I-9 documentation, payroll records, copies of immigration filings, copies of Social Security Administration communications requesting corrections, information on independent contractors, and related information.  All documentation normally must be produced within three business days of the employer’s receiving the NOI.

ICE says it will focus on businesses critical to national security and other government functions. “The inspections will touch on employers of all sizes and in every state in the nation, with an emphasis on businesses related to critical infrastructure and key resources,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement.

These government crackdowns on employers represent a key part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration enforcement policy, emphasizing employer audits rather than the high-profile workplace raids of the past.  It appears employers will continue to be targeted.   The last round of audits took place in February, when ICE issued 1000 audit notices to employers across the country.

If you receive a Notice of Inspection, immediately contact a qualified immigration or employment attorney. It is critical that employers thoroughly review the documents gathered in response to the NOI and that the documents be well-organized and presented in the best light possible.  Employers who have not received a NOI should be proactive and take the opportunity to review and audit their records internally.

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