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Government targets employers with illegal workers

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched a new audit initiative with the issuing of Notices ofPassport immigration stamp Inspection (NOIs) to 652 businesses nationwide. The notices alert business owners that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.

Inspections are one of the tools the federal government has to enforce employment and immigration laws. This new initiative focuses on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices and efforts to ensure a legal workforce.

Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual’s identity document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual.

The 652 businesses being presented with a NOI for a Form I-9 audit have been selected for inspection as a result of leads and information obtained through other investigative means. Due to the ongoing, law enforcement sensitive nature of these audits, the names and locations of the businesses will not be released at this time.

In FY 2008, ICE issued 503 similar notices throughout the year. In April, ICE implemented a new, comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce. Under this strategy, ICE is focusing its resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers. The nationwide initiative being launched today is a direct result of this new strategy.

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, www.ice.gov


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