Be Prepared: ICE Planning Summer Audit Surge

ICE sets record-breaking enforcement statistics

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) promised an increase regarding worksite enforcement and, from the statistics recently released by ICE, the organization seems to be delivering on their commitment.

“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, in an ICE press release.

From Oct. 2017 until May 4 of 2018, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has opened 3,510 investigations into worksites, launched 2,282 Form I-9 audits, and performed over 1000 arrests; 594 criminal and 610 administrative, respectively.

For reference, HSI opened 1,716 worksite investigations, initiated 1,360 Form I-9 audits, and made just over 300 arrests related to worksite enforcement for the entire fiscal year 2017. Form I-9 audits have increased by roughly 67% and arrests have nearly quadrupled in only half of the fiscal year 2018.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Benner spoke of plans for another nationwide wave of audits crashing down on employers this summer, intending to push the total to over 5,000 by September.

Preparing for Audit Season

With an audit tsunami looming, employers need to ensure there are no cracks in the hull of their hiring process. ICE intends to increase their audits to record-breaking numbers this year, with eventual growth to 15,000 audits annually.

Considering the current administration’s focus on worksite enforcement, it is essential to be proactive by preparing for possible inspections. Auditing employment verification processes and records is a necessary precaution with today’s political climate.

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