It definitely wouldn’t hurt to reach out to an immigration attorney in your area if you recently received notice from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that your business is going to be audited. Here’s why.
Immigration law is rapidly changing and as it does, many individuals and businesses are being targeted by ICE. Raids are being organized and audits are being scheduled, putting many immigrants on edge and living in fear. If you recently received notice from ICE that your business is scheduled to be audited to ensure you are in compliance with Section 274A (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), codified in 8 U.S.C. § 1324a (b) which “requires employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals hired in the United States after November 6, 1986,” you might want to consult with an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, TX prior to the audit date.
Here are a few of the things an immigration attorney can do for you:
- Ensure you have all of your Form I-9’s ready and available for ICE officials. ICE says that employers are required by law to maintain Form I-9 for all employees for “at least three years from the date of hire or one year after the employee is no longer employed, whichever is longer.” Failure to supply these forms could result in penalties being imposed.
- Help you correct any technical or procedural violations before they are found by ICE. Generally, ICE will give you 10 business days to make corrections when violations are found during an audit, however, you could be looking at a fine which might not be something your business can handle at the moment.
- Help protect your business if you knowingly hired or continued to employ an unauthorized worker. Employers who hire workers that are not authorized to obtain employment in the U.S. are not only at risk of losing their ability to receive government benefits but they could be criminally charged as well. This is not something any employer wants to have to deal with, especially if they hired help to expand their business and assist an individual with bringing home a steady income. Unfortunately, the government frowns heavily upon those who hire immigrants that have not received authorization to work in the U.S. so if you made the mistake of hiring someone that shouldn’t be working, you definitely need to contact a San Antonio, TX immigration attorney
- Ensure you have all the required documents and authorizations in place so they are easily accessible for ICE officials to look through. This can help make the audit process go quicker and hopefully smoother.
- Answer questions on your behalf. Because ICE officials may have certain questions you aren’t equipped to answer, it is best to direct these questions to your lawyer who is.
Hiring a TX immigration attorney after being notified that your business is going to be audited is not only recommended, but essential for those who knowingly hired immigrants who are not authorized to work in Texas. Therefore, if you would like to speak with an attorney in the San Antonio, TX area who has experience with helping businesses like yours, contact the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohenat 210-503-2800.
The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen is located at:
310 South St. Mary’s Street, Suite 2100
San Antonio, Texas 78205