It is very easy for employers to become lackadaisical about their I-9s. However, with ICE’s new fraud campaign, something as minor as not reviewing your I-9s can lead to big fines. While a fairly easy thing to do, it is an easy thing to miss. As workers come and go it is important that each employer has a designated person who reviews the employment authorization documents every time a new worker is hired. Even attorneys and law firms are not immune to fines and audits. One might be surprised how many attorneys forget to verify an employee’s employment eligibility, or forget to sign the I-9. And if attorneys are not in compliance, one can only imagine how many other businesses out there could face big fines if ICE came knocking.
For a long time work site raids were rare, but they have becoming more and more common as the government is throwing billions of dollars at ferreting out fraud. ICE just made public a memo that details their policies and what constitutes a substantive violation versus a “technical or procedural violation”, and what fines accompany these violations. This is the guidance issued to the ICE officers, which is valuable to employers and their immigration attorneys that need to defend them during an audit.