If ICE Pays a Visit: Planning for I-9 Audits
Last month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted over 3,000 businesses for I-9 audits, with 5,000 more businesses likely to get audited. ICE sent out hundreds of Notices of Inspection (NOI) to employers as a “silent raid.” In the wake of the current political climate, we stand beside you to ensure no errors are made and all required forms are submitted before they’re due. The expenses for a mistake could impact your bottom line. Fines for errors and violations range from $500 – $4,000 per offense. Do you have an HR professional on your side to make sure every box is checked off?
Protect the Bottomline
After receiving an NOI, businesses only have three business days to respond. Employers who employ unauthorized workers are at high risk of facing criminal punishment. Responding to and dealing with ICE detracts time from a business. In addition to this, fines may make it to the public news which could further hurt the reputation of a business.
Recently, HR Affiliates performed an audit and identified and corrected the potential of $220,000 in administrative errors. We know we’ve done our part when we detect mistakes that are sacrificial to a company’s prosperity, both major and minor. Having HR partners on your side is preeminent to your company’s success in filling out the required materials if you receive an NOI.
How do I Stay I-9 Compliant?
By now, I’m sure you’re wondering what needs to be filled out and in what order. The first page is to be filled out by the employee, covering simple documentation. The employer is required to fill out the second page — verifying authorization to work in the US. Page three outlines what documents are acceptable.
Legally, as an employer, you cannot tell employees what documents to bring. In addition to this, your organization should be consistent across the board to avoid raising suspicion — the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says businesses should either photocopy every document for every employee, or none at all. HR Affiliates understands both the complications and outcome of organizations who fail to correctly provide the required information, so we’ve organized a list of information to keep in mind:
- The person who employs an employee is also responsible for certifying them.
- Page one must be signed and dated by the employee.
- Document numbers must be written down.
- White out is forbidden. Corrections require a single strikethrough.
- All corrections require an initial and date.
- We recommend keeping I-9’s in a separate drawer, otherwise this gives agents access to all employee files.
- E-verify system is highly recommended. Not all industries are required to use this.
In these situations, you need a second pair of eyes from experienced professionals.
Prepare to be Selected
If you could take one piece of information from this, we recommend it be getting rid of the idea that your company won’t be selected. This can happen to any organization as ICE is not targeting — you could be next. HR Affiliates stands to protect your business, we’ll take all the necessary steps in this process while also offering I-9 training to ensure you’re set up for success the next time around. Fill out the form below and let us know how we can best serve your needs.