NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is issuing Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 180 businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. The notices alert business owners that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.
Inspections are one of the most powerful tools the federal government has to enforce employment and immigration laws. This new initiative is part of ICE's increased focus on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices and efforts to ensure a legal workforce.
"ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law. This effort is a first step in ICE's long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New Orleans.
Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual's identity document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual.
Due to the ongoing, law enforcement sensitive nature of these audits, the names and locations of the businesses will not be released at this time.
In 2009, ICE implemented a new, comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce. Under this strategy, ICE is focusing its resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers. The initiative being launched today is a direct result of this new strategy.