Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton announced 1,000 new workplace audits for businesses suspected of hiring workers without proper employment documentation, which involves a comprehensive review of each employer’s hiring records and I-9 forms. Although ICE is withholding the businesses’ names and locations until the audit is complete, ICE cited “investigative leads and intelligence” as wells as the “business connection to public safety and national security” as reasons these businesses were targeted. Secretary Morton had this to say:
ICE is focused on finding and penalizing employers who believe they can unfairly get ahead by cultivating illegal workplaces. We are increasing criminal and civil enforcement of immigration-related employment laws and imposing smart, tough employer sanctions to even the playing field for employers who play by the rules.
In April, DHS revamped their worksite enforcement guidelines with a specific focus on “the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration.”