ICE announces I-9 inspections at 652 businesses nationwide

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched an extensive audit initiative on July 1, 2009, by issuing Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 652 businesses across the U.S., more notices than ICE issued in fiscal year 2008.

The ICE notices serve as an alert to businesses that the agency will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether they are in compliance with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.

This initiative shows ICE’s increased focus on holding employers directly accountable for their hiring practices and efforts to ensure they’re employing a legal workforce.

"ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law. This nationwide effort is a first step in ICE's long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment," said Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton.

In April 2009, the ICE announced that illegal immigration enforcement would be shifting away from undocumented workers and toward employer compliance in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration.

All new employees, including U.S. citizens, must verify their work eligibility with an I-9 form at the time of hire. Employers must retain the verification forms and re-verify existing employees’ work authorization documents that are nearing expiration.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently instructed employers to continue using the current Form I-9 (Rev. 02/02/09) until further notice.

Employers do not need to submit forms to the government for verification, but must hold on to the forms for three years after the employee’s date of hire or for one year after the date the employee leaves the company (whichever date is later).

Order the current version of the Form I-9, along with detailed tip sheets, to ensure your business stays in compliance with federal recordkeeping requirements. Employers can find more tools and information on I-9 recordkeeping practices and completion in the ComplyRight I-9 Bundle.

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