U.S. Immigration Steps Up Workplace Audits
August 18, 2009
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is stepping up their efforts to audit U.S. employers who hire illegal workers. According to John Morton, the new chief of of ICE, 654 companies are currently being audited with many more notices to follow.
These efforts are in stark contrast to the lax auditing practices of the previous administration. And the fines are significant. So employers, beware. Make sure you have I-9’s in place with a process to ensure you are receiving valid identification. Many employers now have started to use E-Verify and other electronic employment eligibility systems to help with compliance in this regard.
U.S. Intensifies Audits of Employers- Wall Street Journal
LOS ANGELES — A senior U.S. immigration official said Monday that his agency will intensify a crackdown on employers of workers in the country illegally as part of the Obama administration’s new immigration strategy.
John Morton, the new chief of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, said that the agency is set to increase the number of companies it will audit and systematically impose fines on violators. Violations could also lead to criminal charges, he said.
On July 1, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced an audit of employers to verify whether their employees were eligible to work. Mr. Morton said that 654 companies are currently being audited and that many more employers will be notified soon that they also will be under scrutiny by the government.
“You are going to see audits regularly and on a larger scale,” Mr. Morton said during a two-day visit to southern California, his first since being appointed four months ago. “You will see the resuscitation of…civil fines.”