Audits, investigations and arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in FY 2018 rocketed 300 to 750 percent over the previous fiscal year, depending on the category of enforcement.

HSI-investigations-surge-over-previous-yearHSI worksite investigations surged in FY 2018 to 6,846 from 1,691 the previous year (400 percent). I-9 audits rose from 1,360 to 5,981 (440 percent). Agents made 779 criminal and 1,525 administrative worksite-related arrests compared to 139 and 172, respectively.

In fiscal year 2018, HSI also saw 72 managers indicted compared to 71 in FY17, and 49 managers convicted in FY18 versus 55 in FY17.

“Reducing illegal employment helps build another layer of border security, and reduces the continuum of crime that illegal labor facilitates, from the human smuggling networks that facilitate illegal border crossings to the associated collateral crimes, like identity theft, document and benefit fraud and worker exploitation,” said HSI Executive Associate Director Derek N. Benner.

HSI uses a three-prong approach to worksite enforcement: Compliance, through I-9 inspections, civil fines and referrals for debarment; enforcement, through the criminal arrest of employers and administrative arrest of unauthorized workers; and outreach, through the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers — IMAGE — program, to instill a culture of compliance and accountability.