The WSE program’s compliance, civil enforcement, and outreach activities are not as effective as they could be in supporting ICE’s immigration enforcement strategy. ICE officials did not consistently enforce the ICE 2008 Guide to Administrative Form I-9 Inspections and Civil Monetary Penalties (I-9 Guide) against employers. This occurred because the guide does not provide detailed instructions on justifying civil fine reductions, issuing compliance letters, or performing follow-up inspections on warning notices. As a result, the WSE program does not effectively deter employers from violating employment immigration laws and hiring unauthorized alien workers (UAW).
ICE also did not take timely and affirmative steps to hold UAWs accountable for obtaining unlawful employment because the I-9 Guide has not been updated to address risks and challenges associated with UAWs’ use of fraudulent documentation. As a result, ICE officials cannot ensure that these unapprehended individuals do not have criminal records and the UAWs are free to seek employment elsewhere.