New ICE Center Expands Form I-9 Audit Capabilities

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The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has enhanced its employment eligibility enforcement capabilities with the development of the new Employment Compliance Inspection Center. This new Center allows ICE to more easily conduct Form I-9 audits of large employers whose sizes had historically made it difficult for the agency to prove non-compliance with employment eligibility regulations.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, John Morton, chief of ICE, said the Center would “address a need to conduct audits even of the largest employers with a very large number of employees.” Additionally, Mr. Morton highlighted, “We wouldn’t be limited by the size of a company.”

Fiscal year 2010 was a record-setting year of Form I-9 enforcement penalties with approximately $7 million in fines levied, compared to just $1 million in fiscal year 2009. The establishment of the new Center will likely produce another record year of Form I-9 audits and penalties in 2011, including penalties against larger organizations that had not been previously targeted.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any statutes or laws cited in this article should be read in their entirety. If you or your customers have questions concerning compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations, we suggest that you address these directly with your legal department or outside counsel.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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