Business owners today are 3 times more likely to be audited by ICE. We have heard and continue to be reminded by the President and the media that the Trump Administration places a high priority on immigration reform. This really matters to business owners. Here’s why.
Immigration Customer Enforcement (ICE) Agents and the Department of Homeland Security are the two government agencies who enforce I-9 compliance. The Trump Administration is hiring 10,000 more immigration and custom enforcement agents. Their focus will likely be to make sure employers have compete I-9 forms for all employees. And if your company has 25 or more employees, you’re required to use E-Verify for all of your new hires.
Are you ready?
On November 6, 1986, the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act required employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees and created criminal and civil sanctions for employment related violations. This means that all employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals hired in the United States by requiring the employee on their first day of employment to complete the Form I-9 as the means of documenting this verification. Employers are required by law to maintain for inspection original Forms I-9 for all current employees. Employees who are no longer active, retention of Forms I-9 are required for a period of at least three years from the date of hire or for one year after the employee is no longer employed,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.
More of what you need to know
- There is a new I-9 Form that is available now and the one we have been using becomes obsolete on January 22, 2017! Download the new form – it is a “smart form” so you can even fill it out on line and then print it to sign and file. Here is the link to the form: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. A couple of important things:
- You do not need to go back and complete the new form on current employees, only on employees you hire from this point on.
- One key change is thatyou must enter N/A on any fields that previously would have been left blank. – trust me, if you don’t you could incur penalties if audited.
- Make it a priority to audit your I-9 forms and make sure you have them completed, and completed correctly, on every employee you currently have.
- File them correctly so you do not open yourself up to a broader audit if you are audited.Do not file the forms in the individual personnel files – they must be filed separately in a notebook or separate file.
If you have questions or need assistance contact me through the contact form or call me at 704-650-8684.