What are your best practices when the Government shows up at your business with a Subpoena for your I-9 records?
- Contact your attorney.
- Company representatives do not give any statements to ICE agents.
- Examine the search warrant to ensure that it is signed by the court, that it is being served within the permitted time frame, and note the scope of the warrant—the area to be searched and the items to be seized. Normally, the scope is quite expansive.
- Obtain the name of the supervising agent and U.S. Attorney.
- Assign one or two company representatives to each agent to follow the agent(s) around the facility. Record on a notepad or videotape the search. Note any items seized and ask if copies can be made before items are taken.
- Do not block or interfere ICE activities. Remain calm and composed, and do not engage in any hostilities toward the agents.
- The company may inform employees that they have a right to talk with agents if they like, or not talk with them, but don’t direct them not to speak to agents when questioned.
- Do not engage in any activities that could support a harboring charge, such as hiding employees, aiding in their escape from the premises, providing false or misleading information, denying the presence of specific named employees, shredding documents, or deleting computer records.
- Again, company representatives are not to give any statements to ICE agents without your attorney present.
What can you do now to prevent a fine or penalty in an I-9 Audit of your business records by the Government?
1. Create a corporate culture of compliance with the I-9 form.
2. Create a comprehensive internal I-9 compliance program.
* Electronic I-9 Software
* Internal Audits
* Attorney Audits (Whose finding are protected from the Government by the Attorney/Client Privilege.)
* Independent Third-Party Audits
* Enforcing the Compliance Rules
* Investigating Reports of Alleged Unauthorized Employment
* Taking Appropriate Action