As Forbes has reported, US Immigration & Customs Enforcement has begun visiting the work sites of foreign students with employment authorization based on STEM degrees and employment with E-Verify employers (commonly known as “STEM OPT”). While authority to conduct such site visits was part of regulations issued more than 3 years ago, during the
This week, Tom Homan, acting Director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced that he has instructed Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative branch of ICE, to quadruple the number of worksite inspections. Danielle Bennett, spokeswoman for the agency, confirmed this directive and added “ICE’s worksite enforcement strategy continues to address both employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers and the workers themselves.”
What does this mean for U.S. employers? This means that employers should expect to see increased HSI visits during which HSI will conduct not only I-9 audits to ensure that employers are complying with established employment eligibility verification requirements, but also other investigations related to compliance with immigration and labor regulations.