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Since President Obama took office, there has been a marked shift in how immigration enforcement is handled. Where immigration raids aimed at capturing illegal immigrants were more common during the Bush administration, now U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is relying on I-9 inspections to find and fine employers who do not follow immigration laws. As a result, employers are becoming more educated about the inspection process and fines that could be assessed for I-9 mistakes.

As a recruiter, you are often seen as a resource for your clients and may find it helpful to become familiar with the ICE inspections and fines. This is especially important if you are placing contractors and are handling the employer responsibilities yourself rather than using a contracting back-office because, in that case, you are responsible for proper I-9 completion and will be the one targeted in an ICE employer inspection.

ICE provides a fact sheet on I-9 Inspections that outlines the entire process, possible results, and how fines are assessed. Here are some basic points:

  • The employer will learn of the inspection through a Notice of Inspection (NOI) requiring them to produce I-9s and supporting documentation (payroll records, list of employees, Articles of Incorporation, and business licenses).
  • If technical or procedural violations are found, the employer will be given 10 days to correct them.
  • Substantive violations, such as failing to produce I-9s, as well as technical violations that are not corrected within the 10-day limit, will be subject to a fine ranging from $110 to $1,000 per violation.

You can avoid inspections and the liability for completing and maintaining I-9s by using recruitment back-office solutions, such as FoxHire’s contract staffing services, to employ the contractors that you place. Then the back-office will be responsible for your contractors’ I-9s and will be the ones on the hot seat if ICE comes calling.

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