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I-9 Verification Places Employers at Risk of Severe Penalties for Failing to Notice Errors in Paperwork

Employers are responsible for ensuring the employee completed section one of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form and for completing section two of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, as well as to verify that proper documentation has been provided to demonstrate an employee's eligibility to work in the U.S. Failing to properly verify their employees places employers at significant risk of civil and criminal penalties.

California Employment Eligibility Verification Lawyer

If your business is facing an I-9 audit or needs assistance ensuring worksite compliance, an experienced California employment eligibility verification attorney can be extremely beneficial to protecting your interests. At Litwin & Smith, we advise businesses and foreign nationals with all aspects of completing I-9 employment eligibility forms and ensuring compliance with United States immigration laws.

The federal government takes immigration laws seriously and is regularly taking steps to reduce and eliminate the number of illegal immigrants working in the U.S.

The enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act created the requirement that employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees and created criminal and civil sanctions for employment related violations.1 The Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (Form I-9) is the means of documenting this verification. Employers are required by law to maintain for inspection original Forms I-9 for all current employees and are required to retain those documents for a period of at least three years from the date of hire or for one year after the employee is no longer employed, whichever is longer.2 I-9 Audits are becoming more frequent based on several factors:

The Trump Administration has directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enhance "interior enforcement."

The Trump administration has called for an increase in worksite enforcement investigations to ensure U.S. businesses maintain a culture of compliance. Last December Tom Homan, deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated, "I want to see a 400% increase in work site operations ... We're not just talking about arresting the aliens at these work sites, we are also talking about employers who knowingly hire people who are unauthorized to work."3

Federal prosecutors are showing an increased interest in proceeding criminally against employment verification failures.

As a result of this policy more than 5,200 businesses around the country have been served with I-9 audits since January.

The Trump Administration has directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to increase civil fines for I-9 noncompliance.

The Department of Justice has also adjusted the civil monetary penalties for inflation in accordance with the provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.4 These penalties range from $375 to $16,000 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving penalties, at the higher end.5 Penalties for substantive violations, which includes failing to produce a Form I-9, range from $110 to $1,100 per violation.

San Francisco I-9 Employment Forms Attorney

At Litwin & Smith, we assist employers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and Northern California with Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification compliance regarding immigrant employees, including those with a green card (permanent resident status) and those with temporary work visas. We can make sure you are compliant with I-9 regulations and advise you regarding additional immigration compliance and worksite enforcementconcerns.

Contact one of the immigration attorneys from Litwin & Smith to put our more than fifty years of immigration law experience to work for you.

Please visit our Immigration Articles page for a full listing of detailed articles regarding immigration and naturalization law.


1 INA § 274A(b).

2 8 C.F.R. § 274a.2.

3 Parija Kavilanz, ICE pledges immigration crackdown on businesses. Here's what it looks like, CNN Money, (January 15, 2018: 9:14 AM ET), https://money.cnn.com/2018/01/15/news/economy/ice-immigration-work-site-crackdown/index.html

4 82 FR 9131

5 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Form I-9 Inspection Overview, January 8, 2018

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