NEWARK, N.J. – Following an investigation and audit of Form I-9 documents by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a Secaucus, N.J., company has been fined $625,000 for failing to comply with employment eligibility verification requirements.
HSI conducted a Form I-9 inspection of Infinite Visions LLC in Secaucus, a clothing manufacturer that produces screen print and embroidery work. HSI conducted the audit after receiving an anonymous tip alleging that the company engaged in unlawful hiring practices related to the employment of illegal aliens.
The audit revealed violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and serious deficiencies with the company's employment records. In March 2012, HSI issued a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) to Infinite Visions. The company reached a final settlement with HSI in July 2012 for the amount of $625,000.
"HSI is focused on protecting lawful business owners by continuing to investigate employers who repeatedly and egregiously hire illegal workers," said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. "Enforcing worksite laws not only promotes fairness in the workplace, but it also reduces the incentive for aliens to enter the United States illegally."
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 and employment eligibility document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the individual. Additionally, an employer must ensure that the employee provides certain information regarding his or her eligibility to work on the Form I-9.
In 2009, HSI 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, HSI is focusing its resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers. In the last year, HSI has levied a record number of civil and criminal penalties against employers who violate immigration laws.