On July 24, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – the investigative agency within the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible for Form I-9 Compliance – announced that it served I-9 audit notices to more than 5,200 employer since January as part of a two-phase nationwide worksite enforcement operation.

Last week, HSI served 2,738 Notices of Inspection and made 32 arrests. (In contrast, HSI initiated 1,360 I-9 audits in the government’s last fiscal year.)

HSI’s latest worksite investigation effort aligns with then Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan’s forecast in the fall of 2017 to potentially quadruple or quintuple worksite enforcement in 2018. Under prior administrations, ICE has utilized worksite enforcement tools to assess employers’ compliance with immigration laws and impose civil and, potentially, criminal penalties. Yet, with the number of NOIs and arrests showing no signs of stopping under the directive Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, Form I-9 compliance is once again a front and center issue for employers.

Click here to learn about actions employers should take now to prepare for a potential audit notice.