Fiscal year 2010 has given rise to a nagging worry for employers regarding those I-9 forms languishing in their personnel files. ICE’s statistics for immigration enforcement were record-breaking for FY 2010 with more audits and investigations promised in the future. As an employer, I-9 compliance concerns are legitimate, especially if your staff has limited training in the completion of I-9’s, or if personnel turnover has left your business operations potentially vulnerable in that area. The simple solution to assist your business in avoiding fines that result from any audits is to consult with a company that has extensive experience with I-9 compliance regulations.
In April 2009, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano declared changes which placed responsibility of proper employment papers squarely on the shoulders of the employer, rather than the employee. If an employer is found out of I-9 compliance, ICE now has more tools available, like audits, fines, and possible disbarment. With us on your “team,” we can assist you with a pre-audit, along with tools to conduct your own internal audits so that there will be no surprises if ICE arrives for an I-9 audit.
According to Secretary Napolitano’s October, 6, 2010 announcement, recent statistics revealed that for FY 2010, ICE has experienced the highest immigration enforcement numbers on record. More than 392,000 illegal aliens were removed nationwide, with half of those being convicted criminals. From January 2009 to the present, more than 32,000 employers have been audited by ICE. In addition, financial sanctions and fines of approximately $50 million have been levied, along with 225 companies and individuals that have been disbarred. With these glaring statistics, being proactive in the completion of your company’s I-9 forms is imperative in order to sail through any potential compliance audits.
In FY 2010 ICE conducted about 57% more audits than in FY 2009 (2200 vs. 1400); all indications are that this number will continue to increase. In order to avoid potential fines, and possible incarceration, employers must give serious consideration to consulting with a company that specializes in the completion, and filing, of I-9 forms. Only in retaining a leader is this field can you put your mind at ease that you are prepared from the outset. We are your added safeguard in keeping any ICE auditors satisfied that your I-9’s are in strict compliance and adherence to all current regulations. Consulting with us is good for you, as well as your employees, insuring that your business will be a viable operation for many years to come.