ICE I-9 Audits to Increase as Part of 5-Year Strategic Plan

Today, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a 5-year strategic plan, which covers a wide range of areas including the protection of national security, public safety, and the enforcement of US immigration laws. As part of this broad agenda, ICE also reaffirmed its commitment towards implementing an effective worksite enforcement program, which includes aggressive criminal and civil enforcement against employers who knowingly violate the law; and continued implementation of programs, such as E-Verify and IMAGE, which are aimed at encouraging employer participation in the process. Since ICE began its new worksite enforcement strategy last year, more than 150 Notices of Intent to Fine have been issued, totaling over $15.8 million in penalties. According to the strategic plan, ICE also plans to hire additional auditors and centralize some of the auditing functions. Hopefully, this centralization will lead to some consistency in audit practice (particularly in regards to electronic I-9 systems), which has been all over the map. ICE also intends to work with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)to increase public support for companies that use compliance tools and seek better statutory tools (through new legislation) to address unauthorized employment. The entire plan is available below. ICE Strategic Plan