• ICE announced in early March that it would be issuing Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 180 businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee to inspect the employers' hiring records for violations of employment eligibility verification (i.e., I-9) laws and regulations. This is part of a new initiative launched by ICE to place renewed focus on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices and ensuring a legal workforce. All employers should be on notice that government audits and investigations are on the rise and should be sure to have I-9 compliance measures in place.
  • ICE conducted enforcement operations in Baltimore, Maryland this month and took into custody approximately 30 individuals on suspicion of unlawful presence in the U.S. The investigation concentrated on restaurants, an office and several residential premises. Upon interviews, the individuals confirmed to be in the U.S. illegally would be administratively arrested.
  • In early March, ICE completed its investigation of a Miami foreign language school, which was commenced in Nov. 2007 as part of the "Operation Class Dismissed" post 9/11 effort to identify organizations fraudulently sponsoring foreign students. The owner and an employee of the foreign language school were arrested on false statement and conspiracy charges for providing student visa sponsorship to foreign nationals that did not comply with school attendance rules imposed by immigration regulations. If convicted, the defendants will face prison terms of up to 5 years on the conspiracy charge, and up to 10 years for the false statement. In addition to the charges against the school, ICE arrested more than 80 student visa holders sponsored by the foreign language school and currently in violation of their immigration status.