One Thousand ICE Workplace Audits Announced
November 20, 2009
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary, John Morton, announced today that it has served audit notices, or "Notices of Inspections" (NOIs), to 1,000 businesses this week. This announcement serves to alert business owners that their hiring records, including I-9 Form, are subject to audit to ensure the compliance of employment eligibility verification laws.
At this time, names and locations of the 1,000 businesses that were issued audit notices have not been made public, however, the businesses appear to have been selected for audit as a result of investigative leads and the business' connection to public safety and national security.
In April, Department of Homeland Security issued and updated worksite enforcement guidance with emphasis on ICE's priority of focusing, in part, on employers who establish illegal workplaces by knowingly hiring illegal foreign national workers. ICE has identified the Form I-9 as an effective tool to enforce criminal charges against employers who do not comply with employment eligibility verification laws. Violations may result in civil penalties and criminal prosecution of employers who are cognizant of their unlawful employment practices.
Assistant Secretary Morton was quoted, "ICE is focused on finding and penalizing employers who believe they can unfairly get ahead by cultivating illegal workplaces. We are increasing criminal and civil enforcement of immigration-related employment laws and imposing smart, tough employer sanctions to even the playing field for employers who play by the rules."
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