The New York Times recently published an article on Form I-9 audits of small businesses by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/business/smallbusiness/how-a-small-business-can-survive-an-immigration-audit.html. As noted in the article, the Obama administration has stepped up ICE’s worksite enforcement program on the theory that employers who hire unauthorized workers create the demand that drives most illegal immigration.
Because ICE does not categorize audits by business or industry type, employers of all sizes should comply with I-9 requirements, retain proper I-9 documentation, and take appropriate action upon receipt of “no-match letters” from the Social Security Administration. Employers can also enroll in E-Verify, a federal program that lets employers determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States electronically, or choose to participate in the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program, designed to provide participating employers with the knowledge and tools needed to establish proper hiring procedures, detect fraudulent documents, and avoid discrimination in the hiring process.
Please contact our office if your company would like assistance in developing a worksite compliance program.