Issues surrounding immigration have been a focal point for employers since the 1986 passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The effects of that law and its requirements have made the hiring process a source of major concern for many employers — especially roofing contractors. It also created a risk of legal liability that didn’t previously exist. Those concerns and risks are even greater today given the highly publicized focus on illegal immigration from the Trump administration.
One of President Donald Trump’s first executive orders echoed his campaign commentary related to increased “enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States.” As part of implementation of that executive order, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hired 10,000 agents to enforce existing immigration laws more effectively. In practical terms, this means that we’re likely to see a major increase in workplace audits (notices of inspection), something that was almost entirely eliminated during the Obama years. Unfortunately, that period of greatly diminished enforcement actions has, in many cases, led to reduced employer attention to I-9 compliance. The result has been a loss of focus on the necessity of fully complete and correct I-9s.