On July 1, 2009, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced that it had issued 652 Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to businesses that it suspected of violating immigration laws. Pursuant to these NOIs, ICE will inspect hiring records to determine whether these businesses are in compliance with Form I-9 and other employment eligibility verification requirements.
According to ICE, this initiative signifies its increased focus on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices in securing a legal workforce. Last year, for example, ICE issued only 503 NOIs for the entire year! This new nationwide effort by ICE is another step in its long-term strategy to deter and reduce illegal employment. As we reported previously, the Obama administration has charged ICE with targeting its resources on employers suspected of workplace violations. The NOIs issued on July 1, 2009 are further evidence of how the Obama administration intends to approach this problem.
The EBG Immigration Law Group includes several attorneys who have substantial experience representing employers in response to ICE enforcement actions and, more importantly, proactively auditing employers to reduce the risks of such enforcement actions.