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Legal Alert

ICE Targets Over 500 Businesses for I-9 Audits


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began serving Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to over 500 businesses nationwide on September 15, 2010. The NOIs require in-person inspection of I-9 employment verification forms and payroll documentation. Targeted employers are given three business days to prepare for a meeting with federal officials for review of the requested documentation.

According to ICE, the 500-plus businesses targeted in this round of ICE I-9 audits were selected as a result of specific leads and information regarding allegations of hiring unauthorized workers, exploiting workers and paying unfair wages. Fines for uncorrected technical and substantive errors on the forms range from $110 to $1100 per form. Higher fines apply for knowing employment of unauthorized workers. Even if you do not receive a NOI in this round, we recommend that you take this opportunity to conduct an audit of your I-9 compliance.

If you are using the Fisher & Phillips Electronic I-9 Solution program to electronically complete and store I-9 forms, utilizing the "error report" feature can alert you to all I-9 forms that are incomplete, expired, or should be purged. Moreover, our "ICE Audit" feature generates an I-9 data report that is acceptable to ICE in lieu of having to produce actual I-9 forms.

If you receive a Notice of Inspection, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, or any member of our Global Immigration Practice Group. Our Immigration Rapid Response Team can help you preserve your right to a three-day preparation window, and can conduct an emergency audit of all I-9 forms. The Team can be reached at (404) 240-4224 or via email at

This Legal Alert presents news of a specific development in immigration practice. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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