• I-9 Employer Sanctions Laws and Employer Compliance
  • November 23, 2009
  • Law Firm: Goulder Immigration Law Firm - Greensboro Office
  • To demonstrate to the public that it is enforcing U.S. immigration laws (including the Immigration Reform & Control Act ("IRCA")), U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement("ICE") has dramatically stepped up its efforts by conducting an increasing number of work site enforcement actions. Employers that are not in compliance with the I-9 employment eligibility verification laws I-9 are subject to civil and criminal penalties, including criminal offenses such as harboring, shielding employees and suborning perjury.

    Employer liability includes corporate officers, owners, executives and supervisors and managers. Employer companies and individuals have drawn multi-million dollar fines and imprisonment.  Employers are held to a “constructive knowledge” standard of any violations rather than actual knowledge.

    In addition to ICE’s efforts and in the absence of federal comprehensive immigration reform, state legislatures and local governments are tackling issues on their own by passing a variety of mini-E-Verify laws focused on employment eligibility verification requirements on both the employer and employee level. Several enactments also focus on employment eligibility verification concerning unemployment benefits and workers compensation.

    Becauseof this attention being given to worksite compliance, employers need to:

    • Be prepared to handle an ICE worksite enforcement action and understand its dynamics;
    • Conduct regular internal I-9 audits and training and be able to spot issues and fraudulent documents; and,
    • Have a written immigration company compliance program and consider the pros and cons of registering for E-verify and ways to minimize subcontractor liability.
      Gerald Goulder is a North Carolina immigration lawyer who practices exclusively immigration law for North Carolina clients and for clients throughout the United States, and the world because immigration law is a federal law practice not limited attorneys in a particular state.

    Gerald Goulder has been a licensed attorney and counselor at law for 30 years. His practice is exclusively immigration, visa and citizenship law.