Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced a “bold new initiative” to audit Forms I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms completed by businesses nationwide. ICE recently began issuing Notices of Inspection (NOI) to 652 businesses nationwide alerting the businesses that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations. During the last entire fiscal year, ICE issued 503 such notices. ICE stated that the new initiative illustrates ICE’s increased enforcement on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices and efforts to ensure a legal workforce. ICE stated that the 652 businesses that are being audited have been selected for inspection as a result of leads and information obtained through investigative means. ICE stated that these audits are part of a nationwide initiative being launched to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce. Many believe that this is part of the Obama administration’s efforts to build its credibility on immigration enforcement in order to boost the chances of passing an immigration reform bill in Congress this year.