I listened to a speech by Thomas Homan, the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), that he gave to the Heritage Foundation. He made it clear in his message that ICE will be stepping up their efforts in order to enforce the immigration laws of the U.S. There is certainly a lot of things that go into that statement. I encourage you to spend the time it takes to listen to his speech.
One thing he made clear is that ICE does not do raids or sweeps looking for people who are in the U.S. illegally. He said that ICE performs targeted enforcement efforts that are based on investigations that show that illegal aliens are present. This means that if ICE comes knocking on the door of your business they have information that leads them to believe you are employing someone who is illegally holding that position. ICE there looking for someone, or several someones, who have a court order that they are detained and given due process to determine if they are indeed illegally in the U.S. He said ICE just doesn’t select a spot and conduct a raid looking for random people.
What this means for business
If ICE shows up at your door, they have a specific reason for being there. This may mean that you have not done your due diligence in ensuring that your workers are properly documented through the I-9 paperwork process. They will ensure your paperwork is up to the legal requirement. If not, employers can be fined, and possibly prosecuted. So it is important to make sure you are completing the paperwork correctly. Make sure you are documenting that your employees do indeed have the legal right to work in the United States. Make sure that if your business is caught up in the increased enforcement effort that you have dotted the I’s and crossed the t’s to prevent the company from being charged with wrongdoing. You are not required to be document experts but you do have to be making a reasonable effort. You do have to be timely collecting an employee’s documents. You do have to make sure you are using the right form.
Remember is ICE shows up they are there for a reason and it is probably because you have someone you should not have working for you.