Why You Should Always Be Prepared for ICE Inspections at Your Construction Business
As a construction business owner or manager, you likely understand the importance of being prepared. You have emergency preparedness protocols. You have insurance in case of accidents, fires, or floods. Your employees and contractors know what to do if someone is injured or something goes wrong on a job site.
But what happens if you receive a Notice of Inspection or NOI from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? Do you have a plan to present properly-kept records showing your compliance with federal hiring laws during this inspection?
If you don’t, now is the time to contact an experienced immigration attorney – not when you receive an NOI. At that point, you will only have three days to prepare before ICE agents show up to audit your records. There are multiple reasons why waiting until you receive notice can cause difficulties for your business:
- Call an immigration lawyer and tell them you need help getting ready for an ICE inspection in three days. They will probably have to assign multiple associates to work round-the-clock reviewing your records and checking for errors. Even for a small company (less than ten employees), this could cost tens of thousands of dollars in premium rates (which you will be charged due to time constraints). If you have dozens or hundreds of employees, the cost will rise exponentially.
- Even with multiple associates working diligently, three days may not be enough time to catch all errors or issues that might lead to a fine from ICE. Even if you think, “All my employees are properly documented,” that doesn’t mean you have no paperwork issues. For example, if you failed to ensure one employee’s I-9 was completely filled out or simply lost that paperwork at some point, you could still face fines, even if your employee later provides the ICE inspector with proof they can legally work in the US.
- If you and your attorney identify issues early and correct them, the ICE inspector has leeway to provide leniency in reducing fines.
- By hiring an immigration attorney before you receive an NOI, you can pay regular rates for their time instead of premium rates for a three-day rush job. The more employees your company has, the more money you will save, but even a small business could see significant savings.
How to Seek Assistance with ICE Compliance for Your Construction Business
If you have concerns about your records or simply want to be fully prepared for an ICE inspection, please contact Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law lead attorney Deepak Ahluwalia for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and explain the options for performing an in-depth review of your records and correcting errors if needed. Mr. Ahluwalia is a trusted source of information on US immigration law and has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, and more news organizations.
To learn more about the benefits of having a plan to handle ICE inspections in your construction business, please read Mr. Ahluwalia’s full guest post in Construction Business Owner.