Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Jan 3, 2019

ICE Stats Show Massive Increase of Worksite Compliance Investigations for FY2018, Agency Expected to be More Aggressive in 2019

Jonathan A. Grode

A little over a year ago, we informed our readers that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was looking to potentially quintuple its worksite enforcement actions for Fiscal Year 2018.  The agency recently released its end-of-year statistics in a press release, describing its own activities as a “surge.”These numbers speak for themselves. Employers of all sizes – regardless of whether they employ foreign workers – need to take notice that ICE is becoming more aggressive in worksite enforcement and ensure that their employment policies and procedures are in order.

 

Per the press release, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has seen a tremendous increase in worksite investigations, I-9 audits, and other worksite-related arrests as of the end of FY2018 (ending on Sept. 30, 2018) compared to statistics as of FY2017. These increases average between 300-750% above the previous year’s findings.To put these statistics into perspective, HSI opened 6,848 worksite investigations this year compared to a mere 1,691 in FY2017. Most shockingly, this includes a 439% increase in Form I-9 audits compared to FY 2017, a development we have covered at length for our readers.

 

Beyond Form I-9 audits, HSI made a total of 1,993 more criminal and worksite-related arrests.In FY2018, the level of judicial fines, forfeitures and restitutions totaled over $10.2 million dollars, however these figures are expected to rise significantly in FY2019 due to the high number of ongoing investigations that will take months or even years to fully resolve.

 

Per the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, federal law requires all U.S. employers to verify the identity and work eligibility of all employees working in the U.S. Stemming from the heavy-handed practices of the Trump Administration, HSI will continue to target civil and criminal prosecution of employers in 2019 with an emphasis on levying fines against those who violate Form I-9 requirements. We expect high-profile, headline-grabbing criminal prosecutions of employers who have a pattern and practice of knowingly employing unauthorized workers. We also expect a constant stream of press releases from ICE regarding civil violations relating to Form I-9 violations, marring employers’ reputations in the public square.

 

ICE’s published statistics mirror our own experience in 2018, as our firm has received an unprecedented number of inquiries from employers receiving visits from HSI. We strongly advise that employers should take proactive and/or remedial measures – such as internal Form I-9 audits -- in order to avoid the costly and unfavorable consequences of ICE audits that can damage businesses and their employees’ welfare.

 

Our firm has considerable experience in crafting employment policies, handling human resources training, responding to HSI investigations, and litigating assessed penalties.  Contact us today for more information as to how we can assist your company in ensuring it is fully compliant with worksite laws.

Related Team

Jonathan Grode

Jonathan A. Grode

215-395-8959

215-395-8959

email Jonathan

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)
Providence (New England)

Full Biography

Jonathan A. Grode

Recent Blogs

Jan 22, 2021

Biden Administration Changes to International Travel Policy Leaves People Wondering If the Travel Restrictions Will Remain

U.S. travel restrictions will be lifted unless the Biden Administration steps in. The White House says it will not lift the travel restrictions. COVID-19 testing and quarantine / isolation are not required for international travel. Learn more in this blog.

Jan 21, 2021

Biden Issues 100-Day Moratorium on Deportations

President Biden announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations to allow his Administration time to review relevant priorities for deportation within the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). The order stops all deportations for those foreign nationals physically present in the United States prior to November 1, 2020. There several notable exceptions for those who voluntarily choose to accept removal and those who present a national security threat. Learn more in this blog.

Jan 20, 2021

THE TRAVELER TWO-STEP: Forecasting Travel Restriction Changes Under the Biden Administration

U.S. travel restrictions affect those who have been in China, Iran, the U.K., Ireland, Brazil, and Schengen Area countries at any time during the fourteen days prior to seeking entry. There are waivers of the travel restrictions and they are likely to remain in place for some time. The Biden Administration will likely replace the executive orders underpinning the travel restrictions and embrace new policies and procedures without lifting them altogether. Learn more in this blog.