ICE auditing local businesses

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will be inspecting 180 businesses throughout the Southeast over the next several days as they seek to crack down on illegal employment.

ICE began issuing notices of inspection March 2 to businesses in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

During the inspections, ICE agents will review I-9 forms for each businesses’ employees, and will determine if the forms are in compliance with the law, according to an ICE press release.

Employers are required to complete an I-9 form, which requires the business to review and record the employee’s identity documentation and determine if the documents are related to the employee.

The inspections are part of a program ICE launched last year to combat the demand for illegal employment, read the press release.

“Due to the ongoing, law enforcement-sensitive nature of these audits, the names and location of the businesses will not be released at this time,” read the release.

“ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law,” wrote Raymond, Parmer Jr., acting special agent of the ICE Office of Investigations in New Orleans. “This effort is a first step in ICE’s long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment.”