Between October 1, 2017, and May 4, 2018, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened 3,510 worksite investigations; initiated 2,282 I-9 audits; and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests, respectively. Compare that to fiscal year 2017, HSI opened 1,716 worksite investigations; initiated 1,360 I-9 audits; and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests related to worksite enforcement.
Worksite enforcement strategy. HSI’s worksite enforcement strategy includes leveraging the agency’s other investigative disciplines, since worksite investigations can often involve additional criminal activity, such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, document fraud, worker exploitation and/or substandard wage and working conditions.
The agency uses a three-pronged approach to worksite enforcement:
- Compliance, from I-9 inspections, civil fines, and referrals for debarment;
- enforcement, through the criminal arrest of employers and administrative arrest of unauthorized workers; and
- outreach, through the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE program, to instill a culture of compliance and accountability.
"Employers need to understand that the integrity of their employment records is just as important to the federal government as the integrity of their tax files and banking records. All industries, regardless of size, location, and type are expected to comply with the law," Benner continued. "Worksite enforcement protects jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminates unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthens public safety and national security."
CEA conducts weekly I-9 Audits for employers and we have yet to find one without any errors. Contact us to schedule your audit and reduce your liability of fines, arrests and workplace disruptions.