It appears that ICE is on its way this season. Immigration & Customs Enforcement ('ICE') - the division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security responsible for Employer compliance with immigration laws- announced several days ago that it was preparing to send out Five Hundred (500) new Notices of Inspection to companies within the next week.
Typically, a Notice of Inspection will require an employer to provide access to its I-9 Forms to make sure that the Forms are properly completed and that its employees are eligible to work in the U.S. (Fines for improperly completed I-9s may range from $110 - $1,100 per violation).
By comparison, ICE sent out only 503 Inspections for the entire year of 2008.
This increased vigilance by ICE is a continuing trend in immigration enforcement that has been escalating for the past 18 months. One effect of this increased pressure on Employers is that there has been a decline in illegal immigration - but it requires all employers, (whether or not you employ a foreign national), to make sure that all of your Form I-9s are in proper order before ICE makes its arrival at your door.