Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) announced yesterday that a Salt Lake City-based hotel was fined $1.9 million in connection with hiring undocumented workers. This case involved an alleged conspiracy between lower-level employees and mid-level managers to hire undocumented workers intentionally by creating temporary employment agencies to rehire 43 undocumented workers. The conspiracy was identified by ICE pursuant to a regular audit of the company’s I-9 forms whereby 133 employees were found to be unauthorized to work in the United States. The company received an ICE warning notice to terminate all of the affected employees which the company claimed it had done. However, ICE later learned that 43 of these workers had returned to the workforce using new names and fake documents through third-party staffing agencies set up by company employees. According to ICE, it will cost the company approximately $500,000 to implement remedial measures that will satisfy ICE’s genuine concerns that the company be fully compliant moving forward. These measures involve standard immigration compliance policies and procedures: training of HR staff, including immigration compliance clauses in labor service contracts, requiring contractors to be enrolled in E-Verify as a condition of doing business, and seeking advice from immigration counsel. Employers are reminded to put such measures in place proactively and as soon as possible to reduce the risk of fines and deeper concerns, particularly if they are in an industry that is predominantly made up of lesser-skilled workers (agriculture, construction, hospitality, etc.). A proactive solution is less costly than a retroactive punishment.