Recently, President Trump made a bold claim to say his administration wanted to rapidly deport up to one million undocumented immigrants through an expedited removal process. While the ability to remove so many people in any period of time may very well be impossible, it does shine a spotlight on the pressure and urgency undocumented immigrants in America face each day. Trump, his administration, and his supporters all want to see an America without any undocumented immigrants, and they will push for legislative changes and government actions to make it happen.
It is possible that the Trump Administration may attempt to increase its deportation count through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) I-9 inspections, which target businesses and demand to see paperwork that validates the employment of any immigrants on payroll. In the first half of 2018 alone, ICE reported it had conducted an I-9 inspection or audit at around 5,200 businesses. During a five-day blitz of raids and inspections in July 2018, ICE made 32 arrests.
The number of arrests and deportations from last year’s ICE I-9 inspections may seem small, but they are anything but trivial. The I-9 inspections sent shockwaves through the world of small businesses from coast-to-coast. Any small business owner who is not absolutely positive about the background of all their employees could be targeted by an ICE audit and face the consequences.
What Can Happen If Your Business Fails an ICE I-9 Audit?
Failure to comply fully with an ICE I-9 inspection will slam your business with a high fine. You could pay anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000 per violation. Multiple violations can be logged per undocumented worker at your business, too. On its own website, ICE claims the largest fiscal penalty enacted against a company following an I-9 inspection was $95 million.
However, things can get much worse if ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have reason to believe you intentionally harbored an undocumented immigrant. As evidenced by the raids in July 2018, an ICE I-9 inspection can result in an arrest of an undocumented worker and/or their employer.
How to Prepare for an ICE I-9 Inspection
Are you worried that an ICE I-9 inspection could spell the end of your business through fines and the end of your career through an arrest? You have to act quickly to start protecting yourself and your employees. To prove the legitimacy of their employment at your company, you’ll need all sorts of tax files, bank records, employment histories, visas, and so forth, as well as the right approach to reacting to ICE when you are targeted by an I-9 audit.
The Gaston Law Firm in South Florida is here to help you preserve your business and prepare for – and hopefully prevent – an ICE worksite raid. Our immigration law firm can conduct annual or biannual I-9 audits ourselves, which mirror the same sort of inspection ICE would carry out if they show up on your door. If we catch any errors, then we can help you correct them without worrying about ICE trying to put you or your hardworking employees in handcuffs. You can also count on us if you need representation during an ICE interview. We can act on your behalf, making certain to say and do what is in your best interests.
Please understand the urgency of the threat of ICE I-9 inspections. ICE under the Trump Administration has seen an uptick in prosecutorial aggression. You cannot chance your business, livelihood, and freedom on any sort of leniency in case you get targeted by an I-9 audit. You mustact quickly to be fully prepared, just in case one of the thousands of raids that are surely on the horizon bring ICE to your door.
Call our law firm at (888) 388-6859 or contact usnow to get a South Florida ICE I-9 inspection attorney on your side and helping you prepare your business for the worst case scenario.