Employers should brace themselves as it begins to look like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) will be targeting them more and more in their neverending quest to ferret out undocumented workers. During a press conference in Washington, D.C., last December, Tom Homan, deputy director of ICE, said,
I want to see a 400% increase in work site operations. We’re not just talking about arresting the aliens at these work sites, we are also talking about employers who knowingly hire people who are unauthorized to work.
Despite the numerous Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headlines, the last two years have brought a significant decrease in workplace audits: 3.127 audits in 2013 to 435 audits in 2015. Similarly, the fines during this time have dropped from $9.5 million in 2013 to $4.62 million in 2015. To put this in perspective, ICE assessed about $31.2 million in fines as a result of over 9000 worksite inspections between 2009 thru 2012. But it seems that this lull is about to come to an end.
On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a rule that will result in an increase of anywhere from 35% to 96% in possible penalties for immigration related violations. For example, the minimum penalty for employing individuals not authorized to work in the U.S. will increase from $375 to $539, while the maximum penalty will go up from $3200 to $4313. Employers with multiple violations, which originally resulted in a penalty from $4300 to $16,000, will now be faced with a penalty of $6469 to $21,563. Similarly, the possible fines for Form I-9 paperwork violations nearly doubled. Fines now will be in the range of $216-$2156 per violation rather than $110-$1100 per instance. Continue reading “DOJ Hikes Fines for Immigration Related Violations”→