Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to open significantly more investigations and impose heavier fines over immigration-related offenses by employers compared to previous years. All employers are strongly encouraged to engage experienced outside immigration counsel to perform an audit of their I-9 Forms to confirm and gauge compliance levels on an annual basis. I-9 penalties for substantive and technical violations range from $110 to $1,100 per violation (one I-9 Form can have multiple violations) with the potential for penalties to be increased by up to 25%. The potential for large fines and escalating legal costs associated with an employer fighting I-9 penalties weighs heavily in favor of avoiding such liability through annual I-9 audits conducted by experienced immigration counsel. If Congress lets another year go by without passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation, ICE is expected to continue ramping up its enforcement efforts against employers. For help with your business’ I-9 compliance program, call Johnstone Adams at (251) 432-7682 or toll-free at (866) 732-3267, or visit our Website.

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