Here is a wake-up call for employers thinking about shoring up their immigration compliance process as a New Year’s resolution. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is targeting employers and has dramatically increased the number of worksite investigations, audits, and arrests.
How much has ICE increased its enforcement activity at U.S. employers’ worksites? Worksite investigations are up more than 300% from the fiscal year 2017. I-9 audits are up 340%. Criminal worksite related arrests are up 460%. And administrative worksite arrests are up 787% over 2017. These arrests can include not only undocumented workers but also the responsible hiring manager. Unlike most employment regulatory obligations, immigration compliance laws create the potential for personal, criminal liability for hiring managers and officials. Simply put, managers and company officials can go to jail for getting immigration compliance wrong.