I-9 Compliance – ICE Homeland Security Investigation I-9 Audits to Triple to Nearly 3,000
As referenced in a publication from law firm Ogletree Deakins, recent administrative actions by President Donald Trump are expected to drive an increase in the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) audits to nearly 3,000, which is triple the numbers from recent years. Combining the expected increase in worksite audit activity with the authorization to hire 10,000 additional ICE agents across the United States, the administration is showing strong signs of dedication to immigration reform and a renewed focus on enforcement. Employers across the United States should consider closely monitoring the evolving legislative environment on immigration reform and take the appropriate steps to prepare themselves to remain compliant.
Equifax Workforce Solutions, a leading provider of automated I-9 management services, recommends that employers take a fresh look at their overall process for Form I-9 management. More specifically, all employers should evaluate the following: Form I-9 process creation, process adherence, and process audit.
Form I-9 process creation: Form I-9 process creation should begin with consultation with the employer’s legal representation. A stringent, well-documented process should follow the guidance provided by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as outlined in the M-274 Employer Handbook. Furthermore, an automated I-9 solution, configured with data validation rules, smart form selection, and electronic signature capabilities serves as an excellent way to help manage Form I-9 compliance.
Form I-9 process adherence: Once an employer has designed and implemented a formal process for I-9 management, it is imperative to ensure proper adherence to the program administration. Many employers face challenges from managing multiple locations with multiple hiring managers who have access and responsibilities to complete new hire paperwork, including the Form I-9. Therefore, ensuring all employees follow the designated program process can be unwieldy. A structured, automated I-9 solution can assist employers in overcoming those challenges to deliver centralized control, with the flexibility to meet the needs of today’s workforce. An electronic I-9 management system should provide the ability to administer user roles and access rights, support varying degrees of organizational structures, and provide seamless attachment of critical supporting documents, all while recording activity in a thorough and complete audit trail.
Form I-9 process audit: The final process consideration for employers is gaining more emphasis with the addition of ICE agents and the projected increase in ICE HSI audits. Employers should conduct frequent, in-depth self-audits of all Forms I-9 for active and inactive employees. A manual self-audit can be time and resource intensive. A thorough understanding of the applicable rules and regulations of Form I-9 completion and retention requirements is also necessary. An automated audit solution that easily identifies Form I-9 errors as well as offers a seamless, intuitive remediation strategy for correcting errors can benefit employers. An electronic I-9 Audit and Remediation solution can reduce the time for audit completion to minimize administrative burden, as well as provide an exhaustive review to reduce the risk of missing errors during the self-audit process. Additionally, the use of an automated I-9 solution will aid in the proper retention of Form I-9 and supporting documentation.
Contact us to learn more about how our I-9 solutions can help you better manage risk, develop efficiencies, and achieve cost savings.
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