This week, Tom Homan, acting Director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced that he has instructed Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative branch of ICE, to quadruple the number of worksite inspections. Danielle Bennett, spokeswoman for the agency, confirmed this directive and added “ICE’s worksite enforcement strategy continues to address both employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers and the workers themselves.”

What does this mean for U.S. employers? This means that employers should expect to see increased HSI visits during which HSI will conduct not only I-9 audits to ensure that employers are complying with established employment eligibility verification requirements, but also other investigations related to compliance with immigration and labor regulations.

This announcement is a warning to U.S. employers to take all necessary steps to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations. Specifically, employers should ensure that:

  • I-9 processes are in place and that required documentation is maintained and readily available for inspection
  • All completed I-9s have been reviewed for compliance and those that are not are properly brought into compliance
  • I-9 reverifications are completed timely
  • Labor condition application public access files for all H-1B employees are complete and readily available for inspection

As a reminder, employers who use E-Verify are required to complete and update I-9s, ensure that their I-9s are compliant, and that they are abiding by I-9 documentation retention requirements.