Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ICE Serves 180 Audit Notices to Businesses in 5 States

ICE announced issuance of Notices of Inspection to 180 businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. The notices alert business owners that ICE will inspect their records to determine if they are complying with employment verification laws.

The recent announcement by ICE of the increased inspections is the first signs in several months of stepped-up enforcement procedures for I-9 inspections. ICE announced that it “is focusing it resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivation illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers. The initiative being launched today is a direct result of this new strategy.”

The Obama administration has, thus far, steered away from crack downs on large employers with illegal work forces which characterized the last years of the Bush Administration. Instead, the current administration has focused on contractors that do business with the federal government. The reported aim to steer these contractors into signing up with E-verify, the on line, I-9 compliance program.

It is still unclear whether DHS has now shifted to a more aggressive program similar to that under the Bush Administration.

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