The New, Perilous Enforcement Climate – End Game
With the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), U.S. employers became responsible for verifying the employment eligibility of their employees. And since the dark days of 9/11 through the 2006-2007 failed congressional attempt to pass a sweeping immigration bill, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been gearing up and is now set for a massive crackdown on illegal hiring with stepped-up raids on worksites across the country that employ illegal immigrants. The U.S. immigration woes are now being seen as totally employer-created and perpetuated. Immigration, now more than ever, is in the forefront of the national consciousness and provokes significant passion in every community.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the DHS. ICE is comprised of four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. Now more than ever, the agency is determined to “punish knowing and reckless employers of illegal aliens”. ICE has initiated a strategic shift in the way it approaches such employers by bringing criminal charges against them and seizing their illegally derived assets – rather than relying on the old, ineffective tactic of administrative fines and sanctions. Under this new strategy, ICE is seeking to increase criminal prosecutions and asset forfeitures.
ICE is playing “end game” with its broad range of divisions, units and every possible resource in its ever-growing arsenal of enforcement tools to bring integrity to the nation’s immigration system. Complicating the zero tolerance immigration compliance world tremendously is a new trend of state legislation affecting employment eligibility verification. Such state laws passed thus far have tended to impose additional consequences, and in some instances impose additional requirements beyond what federal law requires.
Our Employer Compliance and Enforcement Defense Practice Group
Our maxim is that “prevention is better than cure.” However, where you are already targeted, we work tirelessly to steer you away from the “bulls eye” because we possess multifaceted solutions to ameliorate your immigration enforcement plight. We stand by you, side-by-side through the entire spectrum of your targeted enforcement ordeal.
When the DHS comes to your doorstep, call Igbanugo Partners to guide your interaction with the agency, negotiate a settlement for you if it is unavoidable, and defend you in the U.S. federal courts if civil and criminal litigation ensues. We deploy from our arsenal of former INS-DHS/ICE enforcement officials and seasoned attorneys who speak the same language to provide long lasting enforcement solutions. We expeditiously institute innovative ways to merge functions and skills, and work creatively with you to leverage our unique and critical skill-sets to effectively close down your vulnerabilities.
Our Engagement Roles
We are experienced professionals with significant enforcement expertise who have worked with a range of Fortune 500 clients for many years. Drawing from diverse experiences, our team knows first hand the challenges faced by today’s business organizations in the hiring and retention of a legal workforce. When you hire Igbanugo Partners, you hire a multi-functional team of experienced and result-driven legal, compliance and enforcement defense professionals. We possess and maintain the demonstrable competence to train your HR staff and extricate your organization from any enforcement quagmire. Our dedication is uncompromising, but most importantly, we achieve meaningful and lasting results for our clients.
Our engagement roles include:
- Offering comprehensive half-day and full-day training seminars and guiding your organization in establishing best practices and internal training programs with annual updates.
We help you avoid common pitfalls in the completion of I-9 Forms, including how to detect fraudulent use of documents in the I-9 process, how to avoid criminal liability relative to employment of illegal aliens or corrections to I-9 forms, and how to maintain safeguards against use of the verification process for unlawful discrimination.
- Aggressively defending ICE-targeted worksite enforcement actions or I-9 audits and defensively litigating charged cases.
We introduce innovative ways to effectively manage both electronic-based and paper-based I-9 compliance systems, uncover document fraud schemes of the highest complexity, and ensure that all sources are carefully managed and blended into a single, efficient, low-risk collection and maintenance process.
- Establishing a protocol for analyzing and responding to SSA “no-match letters” and DHS “cease and desist letters”.
These letters have caused considerable confusion, but the way an employer tackles this problem can have enormous consequences. It can be quite treacherous to try and navigate the delicate balance between ensuring your employees are authorized to work and complying with anti-discrimination obligations contained in IRCA.
- Recommending and implementing technology tools and processes to accomplish what your organization needs to structure and manage a consistent platform across compliance matters.
We help you develop libraries of corporate HR compliance material that can be easily assessed and reutilized internally without reinventing the wheel and creating redundant costs. Our services allow you to increase efficiency in preparing, reviewing and producing responsive documents to government requests, and reduce the risk of inadvertent production of unrequested detrimental documents.
- Designing, formulating and implementing detailed corporate compliance plans.
We provide expertise on infrastructure coordination to execute processing of investigative analysis, as well as project management and resources to develop risk assessments that identify weaknesses with current immigration processes. We also implement internal controls for systems management and develop subsequent overall risk management strategies to address these issues.
- Analyzing employer vulnerabilities and assisting clients with resolving inconsistent handling, flawed maintenance and unknown or fraudulent handling of privileged, immigration-related HR documents.
We assist with automating procedures and customizing tools to fit your organization, ensuring that procedures and plans are instituted for 24/7 system administration. We explore self-audit dos and don’ts and ethical considerations in conducting internal investigations. We also provide guidance in developing employment database design processes, implementing better quality control measures, and managing document collection and review.
Our savvy immigration attorneys and compliance/enforcement defense consultants have garnered extensive experience on some of the largest investigations in the country. Our professionals are experts in integrating proven processes and methodologies with leading technology solutions to maximize results for our clients, now and in the future. A key element in any successful process is program management. A core strength of our team is the ability to bridge the gap between vantage points to provide for a cohesive platform, which decreases redundancies and makes the vital project management component process more efficient and effective.
Whether it’s analyzing hundreds of database records or combing through boxes of paper files, success rests on the ability to maintain data integrity and consistency from the compliance or defensive project’s onset. Our professionals help clients keep the core value of employer/employee immigration data management process during the unpredictable twists and turns of the most challenging enforcement actions.
Simply stated, our clients deserve the very best in terms of effort, care and intellectual capacity – focused on results. That is what we precisely offer.