Reports of raids by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is all over the news. ICE has conducted raids at various places of employment all over the United States in order to determine immigration status.
It’s important to know how to respond if your workplace is approached by a federal immigration officer.
Comply with ICE, but monitor activities while on site
As with any government agency making a request, it is important to comply with the ICE requests to the best of your ability.
During an ICE worksite raid, a search warrant may be presented. Review that document to ensure it has been approved and signed off through action by a court, and that the search is within the scope of the warrant.
Write down the name of the ICE agent on the premises and the U.S. attorney assigned to the case. As agents conduct their search, have at least one company representative follow each agent around the workplace to monitor the action.
You don’t want to interfere with the ICE investigation, but you should be aware of their activities while on your business site. You may also request a list of any items seized during the search and make copies of these for yourself.
Employees and company representatives have the right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has a tip sheet for employers giving details about handling such situations.
I-9 verification is crucial, now more than ever
The goal of the raids is to determine whether employees are legally able to work in the U.S. During the hiring process, federal form I-9 is used to verify a person’s eligibility to work for a U.S. company.
It is crucial, now more than ever, to be sure employee I-9 forms are filled out completely and correctly during hiring. This is a way to demonstrate compliance during an ICE investigation. Details about who needs the form I-9
If someone is not able to produce appropriate identification according to the form, then they should not be allowed to work until they have obtained and presented that to you.
If you have questions about the I-9 or what documents must be used for verification, please contact BCN Services so we can help you determine next steps. BCN Services provides training to company individuals responsible for completing the employer portion of the I-9. We also handle I-9 audits of all employee I-9s upon request.
Kari Stanley, Partnership Manager