The surge in ICE raids has called in attention for Form I-9 compliance. Recently, Department of State, Department of Justice or Department of Labor are targeting many organizations for I-9 inspections and audits.
Worksite enforcement is one aspect of overall immigration enforcement, focused on identifying the workers who are not authorized to work as well as the employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers. In the year 2017, Trump's administration has ordered an increase in worksite enforcement across the country. Adhering to this order, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has increased the number of audits and inspections.
According to IRCA (Immigration Reform and Control Act), the employers who are hired for employment after Nov 6, 1986, are required to complete their Form I-9 on their first day of employment. This Form I-9 verifies the identity and employment eligibility of that employee.
So, ICE officers have increased I-9 audits to determine the employers who are breaking the law or staying non-compliant with U.S. employment laws.
Surge in immigration enforcement has resulted in a 78% increase in the Form I-9 Inspection requirements in FY 2018 than that of FY 2017. In FY 2018, ICE has initiated 5,981 I-9 audits which are five times more than those in FY 2017 (1,334). As a result of this enforcement initiatives, the audits for FY 2019 will increase by 5% for a total of 6,300 inspections.
Since the beginning of this year, thousands of dollars' worth penalties were imposed on many organizations for Form I-9 violations.
Further evidence was found in support of the increase in ICE raids. ICE has recently modified a contract requesting 27 additional Junior Compliance Officers (JCOs) to handle the workload of increasing I-9 inspections. "The workload at the original locations have also increased, based on the enforcement initiatives and the influx of illegal immigration, the required number of I-9 audits has grown exponentially to support investigation requirements."
This is an excerpt from the Justification for the Exception to Fair Opportunity Exceeding the SAT FAR 16.505(b)(2)(ii)(B). This proves that we can expect more I-9 inspections in the coming days. Below is a table depicting the JCO Enhancements/Office and related audit backlog.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement can examine your organization's records without prior information.
So, don't you think it is high time for organizations to assure I-9 compliance of your organization with best practices? Proper completion and retention of Form I-9 and conducting internal audits will prepare your organization for ICE raids. However, ensuring an organization's compliance is not an easy, but OnBlick makes it easy for you.
OnBlick is a SaaS-based software which guides employers in ensuring their organizational compliance. Its electronic Form I-9 helps employees and employers in the completion and retention of the form. OnBlick records and retains the activity log of the employers, thus helping you in conducting internal audits. All these value-adding features help organizations in staying immigration compliant thus preparing you for unannounced inspections.