U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on July 1, 2009, that 652 businesses nationwide will be receiving Notices of Inspection. The notices alert business owners that ICE will be inspecting the hiring records of these employers to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations. In conjunction with strategies announced by the Obama administration to stem illegal immigration and focus on the employers who hire illegal workers, this new initiative illustrates ICE's increased focus on ensuring a legal workforce by holding employers accountable for their hiring practices.  

The ICE inspections will concentrate on auditing the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Forms of employers. Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the U.S. This form requires employers to review and record the individual's identity documents and determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual.  

The 652 businesses being presented with a Notice of Inspection for a Form I-9 audit have been selected for inspection as a result of leads and information obtained through other investigative means.

We encourage all of our clients to conduct regular internal audits of its I-9 forms to be sure that each employer is in compliance with the employment eligibility verification laws. Our Immigration attorneys can assist with internal audits of clients' I-9 forms, as well as provide training on the I-9 process.