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ICE commonly reduces penalties for I-9 violations

While there is certainly no question that undocumented immigrants currently residing in communities throughout the United States such as Miami are eagerly awaiting immigration reform, they are not the only ones feeling this way. Many businesses, engaged in work of all types, also cannot wait for legislators to address the matter. While individuals may face deportation if caught businesses that hire someone who is not documented face consequences as well. The fines levied by the federal government can be quite heavy.

A recent audit the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general ran determined that those fines are often not as high as they are supposed to be. Though the total amount of fines U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicated it was going to collect between the years of 2009 and 2012 was more than $52.7 million, the audit determined much less, only $31.2 million was actually collected. This means businesses paid 40 percent less than what they were led to believe they would have to pay.

Though a huge reduction, there is nothing illegal in the practice.

Businesses throughout the nation are supposed to take steps to make sure that the individuals they hire are in fact documented. As a part of that they are supposed to maintain I-9 forms employees fill out when they are hired. ICE commonly determines that businesses are not in compliance with the rules in the course of completing audits of I-9 forms.

Employers dealing with immigration issues likely have many questions about just what it is they are supposed to do when it comes to making sure they are hiring documented workers. Likewise, businesses may not be sure what to do when ICE determines that they are not in compliance. Because immigration laws commonly change, the best place for most businesses to start is with a lawyer who handles such matters.

Source: The Washington Times, ”Obama eases penalties for businesses hiring illegal immigrants,” Stephen Dinan, Feb. 25, 2014

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