Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made public its 5-year strategic plan for FY 2010-14, which lays out the agency’s priorities on three homeland security missions: (1) preventing terrorism and enhancing security; (2) securing and managing our borders; and (3) enforcing and administering our immigration laws.
Looking more closely at the document, it becomes clear that one of ICE’s top objectives is to continue its worksite enforcement program and hold employers accountable for their hiring practices. The following excerpt from page five of the document details ICE’s stated efforts to address illegal employment and “Create a Culture of Employer Compliance:”
The opportunity to work in the United States motivates many to seek illegal entry. Therefore, enforcing the immigration-related employment laws is a critical component of border security. To create a culture of compliance among employers, ICE will use the following two-pronged strategy: (1) aggressive criminal and civil enforcement against those employers who knowingly violate the law; and (2) continued implementation of programs, such as E-Verify and ICE’s IMAGE program, to help employers comply. Criminal investigations will increasingly focus on employers who abuse and exploit workers or otherwise engage in egregious conduct. To support a meaningful civil audit program, ICE will hire additional auditors and centralize some auditing functions. Through the “I E-Verify” campaign, ICE will work with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to increase public support for companies that use compliance tools. Finally, ICE will seek better statutory tools to address illegal employment.
In an atmosphere of increased worksite enforcement in the coming years, it will be more important than ever for employers to review their own internal hiring practices and procedures, including the completion and retention of the Form I-9. Tracker Corp has many freely available I-9 resources to get you started, while also introducing you to a more efficient and effective compliance tool.
The entire seven page strategic plan is available below.