ICE Announces Largest Audit Operation Yet Conducted; USCIS Explains Site Visits
Time 2 Minute Read
Categories: Enforcement, I-9

On November 19, 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it would serve 1,000 Notices of Inspection on U.S. employers whose business activities affect "critical infrastructure" (i.e., public safety and national security).  ICE agents will review I-9 forms, which all U.S. employers must use to verify employees' identity and U.S. work authorization.

Also on November 19, at a public program for employers, Ronald Atkinson, Chief of Staff for the Fraud Detection and National Security office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, explained the three kinds of site visits that are currently being conducted by agents of the Department of Homeland Security:

1.  Risk Assessment Program Fraud Study.  USCIS and ICE jointly and randomly select both family- and employment-based applications and petitions after they have been approved.  Government agents conduct site visits to help in designing profiles of potential fraud.

2.  Targeted Site Visits.  If USCIS or ICE already suspects fraud, advance notice should be given (including notice to counsel) before a site visit is conducted.

3.  Administrative Site Visits.  Contractors (who do not know immigration law) visit employers of religious and H-1B workers to verify compliance with regulations.  H-1B site visits are based on randomly selected petitions that are already approved and may occur at multiple sites of the same employer.  Contractors use a pre-set list of questions to test whether the H-1B employer, employee, job, and wage are legitimate.


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