Immigration enforcement: Reminder on I-9s

As is well known from recent news reports, the Trump administration’s enthusiasm for deregulation does not extend to immigration enforcement. For employers, that means I-9 audits.

I-9 audits have increased dramatically since President Trump came into office. On May 14, Immigration and Customs Enforcement noted that in the first part of the fiscal year, from October 1, 2017, through May 4, 2018, it initiated 2,280 I-9 audits. That’s a dramatic increase from 1,309 I-9 audits for all of FY 2017.

Here are some tips for effective I-9 procedures:

  • Employers should keep I-9s in one place. If an inspector comes by on official business, a dealer does not want to appear unorganized, spending time pulling I-9s from personnel files.
  • Keep a copy of the I-9 form in each employee’s file. As mentioned, keep all original I-9s in one file that can be easily accessed if an inspection occurs.
  • Self-audit your I-9s. Take a representative sample of employees. Do you have I-9s for all staff? Are the I-9s properly filled out? Were the I-9s completed on time – within three days of a new hire joining your organization?
  • If you find problems in your self-audit, correct them. Make corrections on the original form, and have the changes dated and initialed.
  • Retain completed I-9 forms for three years after the employee is hired or one year after he/she is terminated, whichever is later.
  • Audit the dealership’s I-9 process for new hires. Do personnel who handle new employee paperwork understand that all new employees must complete I-9s and know the rules for properly completing them?

Thanks to Michael Charapp, Charapp & Weiss, LLP, for providing this information.

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