U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an increase in the number of audits and fines imposed on employers in the San Diego area in fiscal year (FY) 2012 (October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012). Specifically, 10 San Diego-based companies were fined a collective total of $173,800 during FY 2012 for various employment-related violations, including employing unauthorized workers. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted 63 audits in FY 2011 and 86 audits in FY 2012, representing approximately a 37 percent increase.
In 2012, HSI focused on employer compliance by increasing the number of I-9 inspections and imposing civil fines and debarment. Derek Benner, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego, stated: "We encourage employers to take the employee verification process seriously. Employers must understand that the integrity of their employment records is just as important to the federal government as the integrity of their tax files or banking records."
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