On Monday, the Trump administration announced that has drastically increased the number of worksite investigations and audits to ensure that U.S. businesses do not employ individuals who are in the country unlawfully.
According to immigration officials, they have launched over 3,500 worksite investigations, which is already double the amount of cases in comparison to the prior fiscal year. Likewise, audits of 2,282 employers were performed between Oct. 1 and May 4, compared to 1,360 audits last fiscal year.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement addressed in a statement that it is working to ensure American businesses maintain “a culture of compliance.” The agency said an audit is “a review of business records” and that audits can be included in investigations due to the “suspicion that the law is being violated and can result in criminal charges and/or civil fines.”
A federal law in 1986 made it mandatory for employers to verify that their worker legally authorized to be employed in the United States. Employers need to document each hires’ eligibility using Form I-9.
So far, 594 employers have been criminally charged for violations of the immigration law, which is four times the number of arrests in the previous fiscal year. ICE plans to boost its audit campaign this summer.