Considering the employment verification enforcement environment we currently find ourselves in, it would be beneficial for employers to perform an internal Form I-9 audit or have a member of our highly-trained staff perform an external audit and certification. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced on July 1st, 2009 that it will send audit letters to 652 businesses throughout the U.S. to determine whether they are complying with employment verification laws and regulations.
The ICE News Release states: “Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual’s identity document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual.”
The 652 businesses being presented with a Notice of Inspection. Apparently, an I-9 audit may have been selected for inspection as a result of leads and information obtained through other investigative means. ICE further states: “Due to the ongoing, law enforcement sensitive nature of these audits, the names and locations of the businesses will not be released at this time.” The ICE Release can be viewed at https://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/0907/090701washington.htm.
Our office is in the process of assisting several employers with these audits and it appears that, for many, the receipt of information from the U.S. Social Security Administration or the State Department of Labor may be the genesis of the investigation.
For more information on the I-9 Audits, the Employment Verification Process or prearing a response to a Notice of Investigation from ICE, please visit the ICE website at www.ice.gov or contact our offices at www.visaserve.com. You can also call us at 201-670-0006 (x107).