Associated Press: ICE Performs Record Number of I-9 Audits in 201202 Jan 2013
At this point, few employers are unaware that the federal government requires them to verify the employment eligibility of their employees, using the I-9 process mandated by the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Fewer still are the employers who have a clear understanding of the employment eligibility verification process – including the documentation requirements and file-retention guidelines – all of which leaves ample room for unintended compliance problems.
If you run a business, there’s no time like the present for taking control of your I-9 files: the Associated Press reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) performed a record number of I-9 audits at companies around the country – more than 3,000 in fiscal year 2012. [See ICE Performs 3,000 Audits of Businesses for Illegal Immigrants in 2012, Associated Press, OregonLive.com, 23.Dec.2012.] According to the AP:
“Audits of employer I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238, according to data provided by ICE.”
The article likewise cautions that I-9 compliance has been a key part of President Obama’s immigration policy, and likely will continue to be so, noting that the President’s recent remarks on immigration reform have stressed “penalties for companies that purposely hire illegal immigrants.”
A word to the wise – and reason enough to follow through with that New Year’s resolution to protect your company from I-9 problems in 2013 and beyond. If your company needs help designing and executing an I-9 compliance plan, the Murthy Law Firm stands ready to assist you.
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