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Immigration Raids Are On The Rise... What Does That Mean For U.S. Employers?

Updated: Feb 17, 2021


What's Going On

On January 25, 2017 President Trump signed an Executive Order titled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States." The order outlines plans for enforcing immigration laws, including, increasing and expediting the deportation of removable aliens from the United States. This Executive Order significantly broadens the class of people now in top priority for removal and will likely lead to an increase in the scope and number of immigration raids, as we have been seeing over the last few weeks.

What Does This All Mean For U.S. Employers?

While the full impact of the new Administration's policies is yet to be seen, there are several immediate takeaways for employers and HR professionals.

Enforcement is Only Increasing:

Though the Trump Administration so far has stopped short of mobilizing the national guard, they have published plans to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Not a small increase, by any standard. Accordingly, employers should expect that the number of investigations, audits, and prosecutions will only go up.

Think Your Company is Off The Radar? Not So Fast…

Even companies who employ individuals who have proper employment authorization may find themselves in the Administration’s crosshairs. The expanded scope of enforcement now includes virtually all “violators,” allowing ICE agents to go after the “low hanging fruit” in government databases. So, individuals with valid employment authorization but who have minor violations, or even individuals with employment authorization under DACA, the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program, if they have minor criminal violations, could be put on the “fast track” for deportation. Additionally, employers should expect a significant increase in enforcement efforts on paper audits of the I-9 forms, that all employers must maintain to document that their hires are legally allowed to work, as well as audits of Public Access Files for H-1B visa holders.

What Should Employers Do To Prepare?

Ensure Full Compliance With Federal Immigration Regulations:

Federal law requires employers to examine documents provided by the employee, to establish both identity and work authorization of the employee. The information from the documents is recorded on a Form I-9 (the federal I-9 Employment Eligibility Form) and the forms are to be made available to federal officials upon request.

ICE “best practices” require that employers should establish written immigration plans, policies, and procedures, that ALL personnel involved in the hiring process should receive annual training on proper administration of the Form I-9, and that employers regularly conduct both internal self-audits and external audits by trained auditors.

Compliance begins with receiving training. If it’s been more than a year since you or your team last received I-9 administration training, check out our convenient webinars, offered by business immigration attorneys

The Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute also specializes in ready-to-implement plans, policies, and procedures, helping companies of every size quickly achieve full compliance.

Please contact us if you have Form I-9 or compliance related questions, or inquiries about our training or webinars.

Mason Ellis | Training Specialist CORPORATE IMMIGRATION COMPLIANCE INSTITUTE 7007 College Blvd., # 460, Overland Park, KS 66211 USA Phone :: 913.317.6201 Email :

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