What Should You Do When ICE Comes Knocking?
Let’s examine what happens when Immigration and Customs Enforcement audits your I-9 compliance.
In a previous post I discussed the nuts and bolts of the I-9 form.
Now, let’s take a look at what happens when Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, audits your I-9 compliance.
I-9 audits are not pop quizzes. While ICE may just show up at your door, they always need to provide some advance notice of an audit (unless they have a search warrant or subpoena). Thus, the inspection process starts with the service of a Notice of Inspection (NOI) upon an employer compelling the production of its I-9s. By law, an employer must have at least three business days to comply and produce its I-9s.
What’s the first thing you should do upon receiving an NOI? Call your attorney.
If possible, arrange to have the I-9 inspection take place at the ICE office. This way, you keep ICE agents out of your business. If ICE insists on the inspection occurring at your business, it’s best to segregate them in a conference room to (hopefully) limit any interactions with your employees.
Regardless of where the inspection takes place, the three-day rule provides you valuable time to prepare. What should you be doing during those three business days?
- Separating I-9s from their personnel files.
- Reviewing all I-9s for complete compliance.
- Fixing any errors you find, including amending incorrect or incomplete forms, and completing missing forms.
- Re-verify any employees whose temporary work authorization expired.
- Draw a line through the incorrect information;
- Enter the correct or omitted information; and
- Initial and date the correction or omitted information.