Prepare for Workplace ICE Audits

Worksite enforcement expected to increase under Trump administration

With President-elect Donald Trump's administration poised to focus on immigration enforcement, employers can avoid big fines by developing a comprehensive I-9 compliance program, which should include training, self-audits and an investigation-day action plan.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has cut back on workplace audits over the last few years, but a recent increase in penalties for immigration-related workplace violations—including the employment of undocumented workers—and a new administrative direction for the agency may result in more investigations.

Employers must properly complete a Form I-9 for each person they hire or they may be subject to criminal and civil sanctions.

Monetary penalties for knowingly hiring and employing undocumented workers range from $375 to $16,000 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving penalties at the higher end. Penalties for technical violations, which include failing to produce a Form I-9, range from $110 to $1,100 per violation.