Instructional materials, checklists and guidebooks on the I-9 verification process and virtually every compliance issue a business could ever face are available in our online Digital Workplace Compliance Library, a vast and invaluable resource. You could be relying on it daily if you sign up for an annual compliance plan with Personnel Concepts. Watch our YouTube video for more information.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the news lately but not for the main issue that employers need to be concerned with: the I-9 Verification Form and any immigration violations it may be concealing.

Already this past year, one company was fined a whopping $95 million for abusing the I-9 process, deliberately concealing true identities in order to hire undocumented workers. The ICE Acting Director, Thomas Homan, vowed earlier this year to double, triple or even quadruple I-9 worksite investigations. He’s kept his word.

From Oct. 1, 2017, through May 4, ICE and its worksite wing, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), opened 3,510 on-site investigations, initiated 2,282 I-9 audits and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests. All those stats are up significantly year over year compared to FY2017.

“Our worksite enforcement strategy continues to focus on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law, and the use of I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance with the law,” said Derek N. Benner, acting executive associate director for HSI.

The Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is required by law to be kept for each employee. Problems arise legal-wise when new hires present phony documents, or employers eager to hire undocumented workers (to save wages) fudge the document. That’s how Asplundh Tree Experts got socked with a $95 million fine. Even after being warned that they were fudging their I-9s, the company continued to conceal identities until it was too late.