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employers beware of immigration reform

While the long awaited immigration reform will provide legal status to the millions of undocumented aliens in the US, the bipartisan package
looks like it will include equally strict enforcement regulations.

The fact that the bill will be bipartisan (supported by both Democrats and Republicans) means that for every measure that grants a benefit there will be one that cracks down on employing people illegally and illegal entry into the US.

Any objective look at the upcoming legislation leads to the conclusion that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will be walking into as many businesses, restaurants, factories, hotels, as possible to do I-9 audits and ensure that employers are complying with the rules. They will likely be looking to make examples out of any industry they can to show that they gave a benefit and at the same time got tough on compliance and illegal employment.

If the government conducts an audit, and there are technical and substantive errors on the I-9, the penalties can range from 10’s to 100’s of thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the violations and the number of violations.

We strongly urge every business owner to do internal audits of their I-9 files or hire professionals to perform I-9 audits so that when ICE comes knocking on your door, your files are already in order.

We stand ready to assist you if you would like professional guidance in reviewing your I-9 files. Please contact Managing Partner Michael Wildes at to discuss how your company is meeting its employment eligibility verification obligations.

For Further Information On How We Can Help Your Firm Meet Its Employment Eligibility Verification Obligations, Please Contact Amy Wildes At