As a result of ICE’s worksite enforcement strategy,14 employers in New England have been fined this fiscal year for various violations, including failure to comply with Form I-9 rules, that enabled the companies to hire illegal aliens.
According to the ICE press release, Fines in the New England region include:
- A $118,000 settlement from Jasper Wyman & Son in Milbridge, Maine
- A a $100,000 fine of Commercial Cleaning Service of Allston, Massachusetts
- A $22,792 fine paid by D’Agostino Associates, Inc., in Newton, Massachusetts
“Nationally, from fiscal year 2009 to date, ICE has initiated Form I-9 inspections against nearly 4,000 businesses resulting in fines of nearly $7 million,” the ICE report says.
“These settlements serve as a reminder to employers that ICE will continue to hold them accountable for hiring and maintaining a legal and compliant workforce,” said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. “We encourage companies to take the employment verification process seriously.”
In announcing this fine, ICE reminded employers that they have implemented a new, comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for unauthorized employment by focusing their resources on auditing and investigating employers who are suspected of cultivating and hiring undocumented workers. In addition, ICE has also been increasing the number of random Form I-9 audits on all employers, regardless of size or industry. For more information on these initiatives, please browse our blog posts on ICE enforcement.
Foucart also added that ICE continues to promote its IMAGE program as a way for employers to work towards a legal, compliant workforce. As a brief overview for those of you who are not familiar with program, IMAGE is a voluntary initiative that aims to reduce unauthorized employment and minimize I-9 compliance vulnerabilities for participating businesses. In exchange for receiving training on hiring practices, fraudulent document detection, use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program, and anti-discrimination procedures, participants must agree to an I-9 audit conducted by ICE and enroll in E-Verify, amongst other conditions. Upon enrollment in and commitment to IMAGE Best Employment Practices, program members will be deemed “IMAGE certified.” For more detailed information about IMAGE, please visit ICE’s website.