Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) I-9 audits and raids on workplaces to arrest illegal immigrants have reached the highest numbers since 2014. Approximately 8000 I-9 audits of U.S. workplaces—four times the number issued in 2017—occurred in 2018. An I-9 audit is a review of an employer’s I-9 forms, required on each employee upon hire to establish that the individual is eligible to work in the U.S.ICE.gov claims 256,085 illegal aliens were removed from the country and 158,581 “administrative arrests” occurred in 2018. An administrative arrest is the arrest of an alien for a civil violation of U.S. immigration laws, which is subsequently adjudicated by an immigration judge or through other administrative processes.
Construction companies, which employ a large number of foreign-born workers, are cautioned to conduct self-audits of their I-9s to avoid such issues. “We’re definitely going for criminal prosecutions of employers,” said an ICE agent. It is clear that continued and even increased ICE enforcement activity, especially focusing on the workplace, will proceed at least through the remainder of the Trump administration.