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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

What to Do if ICE Knocks at Your Door

Monday, August 14, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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HARRISBURG - Inspections of employer I-9 files by ICE are increasing in line with President Trump’s efforts to crack down on undocumented workers. Employers in the green industry are a high priority target for ICE. Even if you think you haven’t hired any undocumented workers, an ICE raid can be disrupting to your business.

Things You Should Do before ICE Knocks

·   Be sure that you are using the latest version of the I-9 for new employees.

·   Do not keep your I-9 files with your regular employee personnel files. Keep your I-9’s in an orderly file with documentation in another office or room where ICE agents can get to them without disrupting the normal flow of work and where they are unlikely to encounter employees or customers.

·   Have a plan if ICE comes to your business and share it with employees. These days, ICE raids are becoming a normal part of business in our industry. Employees should understand this and react calmly and politely if they encounter ICE agents. Employees should not run or abruptly leave the premises if ICE shows up.

·   Share information with your employees about their rights should ICE appear at your business.

·   Conduct a self-audit of your I-9 files to be sure they are up-to-date. Better you discover any discrepancies and fix them rather than ICE.

o   Inform your employees that you are conducting the audit and explain why.

o   If you are a small business your self-audit should involve all employees to avoid charges of discrimination. Do this annually.

o   If you have a larger business where doing an all employee audit would be too burdensome, put in place a written audit plan that uses a non-discriminatory way of selecting groups of files to review, with the goal to get through all the files in a set period, for example, auditing those employees with surnames starting with A-M, then in six months doing N-Z. Do not audit only those employee I-9’s with surnames you consider to be Hispanic or use any other ethnic or racial criteria.

·   Find an attorney you trust who knows immigration law and who can be at your place of business or give you advice over the phone if ICE shows up.

When ICE Knocks

·   ICE agents must have a search warrant and that warrant will specify what they are seeking. Ask to see the warrant and read it carefully so that you provide access only to those items specified on the warrant. This is the main reason you want to separate the I-9‘s from the regular employee personnel files.

·   Also, check the warrant to make sure that the address is correct. ICE may have walked into your business by mistake.

·   Be sure that you have someone in the office, at all times, trained to respond to an ICE raid. All employees should know who that person is and to direct any questions from ICE agents to that person. That person should have a call list ready to notify your attorney and other company management, as soon as ICE shows up.

·   Educate employees to go calmly about their business if ICE agents show up.

Get Smart

·   Click here for more a more detailed outline of your rights as an employer if ICE shows up.

·   Click here for an outline of your employees’ rights if ICE shows up.

·   Click here for an overview of the I-9 and ICE inspection process.


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