Are you aware of the impact of heightened enforcement of immigration laws on your business? If not, you could be exposing your agency to liabilities such as tax, document and wage fraud charges.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is primarily targeting the hospitality, agriculture, food processing, landscaping and construction industries, but all employers are subject to the drastically increasing number of raids, investigations, audits and arrests.
In FY2017, ICE conducted 1,691 worksite investigations and 1,360 I-9 audits. In FY2018, ICE conducted 6,848 worksite investigations and 5,981 I-9 audits. These numbers are expected to increase even more in FY2019. In July 2019, 3,300 I-9 audit notices were issued in a three-week period and another 3,000 are expected soon.
Regardless of industry, location or size, employers should take the following action to protect their businesses:
Ensure you have compliant I-9s. Improper I-9s can lead to fines of $559-$22,363 per employee and $224-$2,236 per form for paperwork errors. In extreme cases, employers risk being arrested. Ensure you are diligently following I-9 documentation and recordkeeping procedures for each new hire, employee and terminated employee.
Follow up on no-match letters. The Social Security Administration issues no-match letters when a W-2 does not match their records. If you receive one, work with the employee to correct any error as soon as possible.
Be prepared. While you may not have anything to hide, any investigation could lead to exposure for a business. If you receive notice of an I-9 audit or ICE worksite investigation, contact your employment attorney.
To learn more, read these articles: “When ICE Knocks" and “Here's What to Do." If you have any questions, email Affinity HR Group.