As of August 1, 2016, DHS's new rule increasing fines for I-9 and other immigration violations is now in effect. DHS, in cooperation with the Department of Justice ("DOJ") and the Department of Labor ("DOL") has increased civil fines against employers who commit immigration-related offenses, such as Form I-9 and E-Verify violations, H-1B visa program violations, unfair immigration employment practices and unlawfully employing foreign nationals. Although the increased penalties are applicable only to penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, they will apply to violations committed by employers going back to November 2, 2015.
The penalty increases are substantial because the federal agencies are adjusting fines for inflation from the dates of initial enactment of the I-9 rules in 1986. For instance, penalties for violating the Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility verification provisions almost doubled from a range of $110 - $1,100 per violation to a range of $216 - $2,156 per violation. When violations are coupled with multipliers for each offense, the fines can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and even into the millions very quickly. If you have questions about I-9 compliance or compliance with temporary worker visa programs, please contact one of the attorneys at Iandoli Desai & Cronin at firstname.lastname@example.org.