1. EVERY employer has immigration-related compliance obligations.
  2. Enforcement against employers has dramatically increased in recent years.
  3. Enforcement has increased for violations associated with the H-1B visa program.
  4. A Form I-9 Notice of Inspection (“NOI”) is not a “friendly audit” or “client review” – ICE considers the NOI an important tool in its enforcement strategy and employers should handle an NOI with the appropriate caution.
  5. The following industries are high on ICE’s priority list for inspection: (a) critical infrastructure, (b) heavy manufacturing, (c) chemical plants, (d) defense contracting, (e) transportation, (f) janitorial, (g) food, (h) construction, (i) agriculture, (j) hospitality, (k)companies with large numbers of low skilled workers, and (l) companies that are potential targets for terrorist activity.
  6. Penalties for immigration-related violations can be painful and can include: (a) financial sanctions (Abercrombie & Fitch - $1Million; Pilgrim's Pride - $4.5 Million settlement; IFCO Systems - $20.7 Million settlement); (b) debarment; (c) prison time; and (d) forfeiture of assets.
  7. Any one Form I-9 can carry almost an infinite number of errors.
  8. Employers can be penalized for Form I-9 paperwork violations regardless of whether or not they actually employed an unauthorized worker.
  9. Participation in E-Verify alone is insufficient to satisfy an employer’s immigration compliance obligations – participation in E-Verify also triggers additional compliance requirements.
  10. Employers should conduct a Form I-9 audit and training annually.