ICE Issues FY 2014 Worksite Enforcement Annual Report

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has issued its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014 on its worksite enforcement efforts as required by federal law. Current worksite enforcement strategies are the result of guidance issued in April, 2009 by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary which stated that ICE resources would focus on the worksite enforcement program by performing criminal investigations and prosecuting employers who knowingly hired unauthorized workers as a means of targeting one of the root causes of illegal immigration. Consistent with immigration law and DHS priorities, ICE also uses all available civil and administrative tools, including civil fines and debarment, to penalize and deter illegal employment. The Annual Report states that in FY 2014, ICE arrested 172 employer agents or representatives for criminal violations related to the knowing employment of aliens not authorized to work in the United States. In FY 2014, ICE served 1,320 Notices of Inspections (Form I-9 inspections) and issued 637 final orders totaling $16,206,022. In FY 2014, ICE debarred a combination of 278 businesses and individuals form doing business with the government. Immigration practitioners anticipate that the number of worksite investigations by ICE will increase in FY 2015. The amount of money being collected in fines each year by ICE for I-9 violations emphasizes the need for all businesses to make certain that they are properly completing, maintaining and destroying their Form I-9s so reduce or eliminate liability in the event of an audit by ICE. If your business needs assistance with assessing or implementing its I-9 compliance policy, please contact our office.