Common Sense I-9 Compliance and What to do When ICE Comes Knocking

Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has dramatically increased its I-9 audit activities in New Mexico and the consequences of non-compliance can be severe and include but are not limited to, unwelcome business interruption, exorbitant fines, unwanted exposure, and even criminal charges.

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification is not an option for employers, but a requirement imposed on all employers by the federal government. Such audits are conducted based on tips and random selection alike. Now is a good time for any company to review its I-9 compliance protocol and teach its key personnel what to do when ICE comes knocking.

In this webinar, participants will learn about good faith I-9 compliance, how to avoid discrimination in the I-9 context, and what to do when faced with an ICE I-9 audit.


For this EXCLUSIVE NMRA webinar on I-9 compliance and ICE raids, login to your member portal or contact Dionne at or 505-343-9848.

Notes on lessons from this webinar:

Worksite enforcement is already double. ICE pledges a 400% increase in I-9 enforcement.

I-9 is a two-page form with a 65-page government instruction manual.


Always use the latest I-9 version (downloaded from the internet)

Treat everybody the same – no discrimination.

Should you copy or not copy documents – be consistent with all, choose to copy or not copy. Mr. Zeller strongly suggests that you copy all.

Document copies and storage: you must keep these forms and document copies either three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date of employment is terminated, whichever is later? (watch the video for an explanation of this policy)

Suggested filing system for I-9 and other documents: Mr. Zeller explains the file system in more detail on the webinar, be sure to watch.

  1. Current Employees Forms I-9
  2. Terminated Employees’ Forms I-9
  3. Forms to be Monitored – (ie. employment authorization expires, a —new hire receives a “tentative non-confirmation” on E-Verify)
  4. Company Policies & Compliance Communications – Written company policies concerning compliance, —Corrections to Forms I-9 as a result of an internal audit, —Training materials, —Written sub-contractor agreements

Train your staff what to do when ICE comes to your door. know the difference between a warrant or Notice of Inspection.

You have 3 days to produce records – Payroll records, IRS 940 – 941, w-2’s, and I-9’s.

They want your originals so ask for a receipt.

You will get:

Notice of Discrepancies – Notice of Suspect Documents – Notice of Technical or Procedural Failures – Notice of Intent to Fine.

In order to insulate yourself and your business perform an internal audit of your I-9 compliance at least twice annually. BEGIN NOW!

At the very least, cross-check all I-9’s of current employees against payroll records to make an assessment of missing or questionable I-9’s.

Fines are stiff and multiply quickly. Watch the video!

Watch the webinar for more answers to your pressing questions about ICE.

For questions please contact us or give us a call at 505-343-9848.

Presentation by: Christian G. A. Zeller


Board Certified Immigration Attorney