Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a wing of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked with enforcing immigration policies (among other duties), has issued another 500 I-9 Employment Verification Form audits to 500 American businesses in critical infrastructure, agriculture and other industries.

These I-9 audits can lead to fines and even civil and criminal penalties and charges. Fines for knowingly employing illegal aliens range from $375 to $14,000 for unauthorized workers, while fines for paperwork I-9 violations can range from $110 to $1,100, with higher fines being imposed based on a percentage of errors.

Since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, the I-9 has been required of every new hire to verify that person's legal right to work in the United States. Only those employees in continuous hire prior to the implementation date do not need to have an I-9 on file with their employer.

ICE has continuously upped the ante on these audits, most recently with the introduction of its National Employment Compliance Inspection Center in 2011.

Employers, Personnel Concepts offers its comprehensive I-9 Compliance Kit to help you maintain your employment records in the way ICE wants them. Get your copy today.