What to Expect in an ICE Inspection

March 3, 2020   |   by Editor

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires all employers to verify the work authorization and the identity of their employees. Therefore, it is mandatory for all employees to complete a Form I-9 and give it to their employers. During a visit by the ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), the ICE agents will conduct an inspection of the Forms I-9 for the employer’s compliance.

If the Forms I-9 found to have errors on them, the employer will be given ten days to make corrections. Also, there might be a monetary fine for the I-9 Forms with errors. If the employer happens to not comply with the ICE as far as the Form I-9 concerned, again, the business owner will be given 10 days to make corrections but will not be able to avoid penalties.

The penalty for not having a Form I-9 is generally between $230 to $2,320. This depends on the severity of the case. Another way that the monetary penalties add up is the repeat violations. The more violations a business has, the more penalties it will receive. The way that the penalties for not complying with Form I-9 is calculated can be read in this article.

What happens in an inspection?

The ICE has the right to conduct searches and inspections on the employees as well. Generally, during an inspection by the ICE, the employees can work but if the ICE agents or auditors decide to shut down the whole workplace, they can do so.

In almost all cases, there are going to be multiple ICE representatives during an inspection. The agents may question employees and ask their ID and compare it with the Forms I-9 found in the personnel files. If there is any mismatch between the IDs the employee presented the agents and the Form I-9 documents, the employer will most likely not be responsible for it.

After all, there is no way that employers can verify the documents to 100 percent. However, if this occurs multiple times during different inspections, there might be a monetary penalty.

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