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ICE Criminal Investigations, Business Audits, and Arrests Surge in Fiscal Year 2018

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) reports  that criminal investigations, business audits, and arrests by ICE and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division have surged 300 to 750 percent in fiscal year (“FY”) 2018 compared to FY2017.  HSI opened 6,848 worksite investigations compared to 1,691 in FY2017 and initiated 5,981 I-9 audits compared to 1,360 in FY2017. HSI made 779 criminal arrests and 1,525 administrative worksite-related arrests in FY2018 compared to 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative worksite-related in FY2017.  Businesses were ordered to pay more than $10.2 million in judicial fines, forfeitures, and restitutions and HSI levied businesses another $10.2 million in civil penalties in FY2018.

HSI continues to focus on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law, and the use of I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance with the law. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires employers to verify the identity and work eligibility of all individuals they hire, and to document that information using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.

For more information about I-9 regulations please contact our office at:

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