Worksite Enforcement

Worksite enforcement actions range from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Notice of Inspection Letter (NOI) informing an employer that ICE will be reviewing its compliance with the employment eligibility laws through an audit of I-9 forms, to a law enforcement action involving employees at a job site and the possible implication of the employer's officers. Worksite enforcement actions are complicated and often involve a range of immigration and discrimination laws that carry potential civil and criminal sanctions.

Goel & Anderson is well positioned to advise clients on how to avoid potential liability in the first instance, and to represent employers already facing government allegations in this increasing complicated and high stakes area of immigration law.

Over the past several years, ICE has aggressively stepped up its worksite enforcement efforts. Possible fines that can be assessed for each I-9 violation are between $375-$3,200 if the government determines that the employer knowingly hired or continued to employ an unauthorized alien, and between $110-$1,100 for each paperwork violation (errors or omissions in completing the I-9 form). Because fines are per violation, they can quickly add up even where relatively few I-9s are involved. Employers in violation of worksite enforcement provisions can also be debarred from federal contracts.

ICE worksite enforcement cases are lead-driven and are initiated from a variety sources, from tips by the public or a company's current or former employers to referrals from other investigating agencies. Like other white collar crimes, they can be complex and lengthy, often requiring months or years to fully investigate. They can also reveal a range of other crimes, from identity theft and document fraud to harboring or alien smuggling, to money laundering and wage and labor violations.

Accordingly, Goel & Anderson's expertise in this complex area of immigration law brings a comprehensive approach that involves:

  • Assessment of corporate criminal and civil liability
  • Collateral consequences, including civil RICO and debarment
  • Optional or mandatory participation in employment verification systems
  • Managing Social Security "no-match" obligations
  • Developing a corporate compliance program
  • Avoiding liability for subcontractor violations
  • Assisting counsel in criminal representation of an employer

Goel & Anderson is well-positioned to advise companies, and their corporate executives, managers, and other personnel, who have been targeted by ICE or are proactively seeking to avoid becoming the target of ICE worksite enforcement activity.

For more information about worksite enforcement actions and immigration compliance requirements, please contact us to schedule an in-person or telephonic consultation.