Documents produced by Immigration Customs & Enforcement (ICE) obtained by ACLU of North Carolina prove what has long been claimed: ICE has deportation quotas and, when not meeting them, has been directed to channel all available resources to do so.
Why is this a concern?
First, in a world where an estimated 11 million people could potentially be deported, ICE must use its resources wisely. Priority should be given to deporting people who are threat to others: human traffickers, drug traffickers, violent criminals. Directing all available resources to troll driver’s license records, set up road check points and similar scattershot methods to meet a quota does not lend itself to catching the people we really want caught.
Second, the “criminal aliens” that they are targeting are not necessarily the “criminals” that should have priority. The definition of “criminal alien” is broad and encompasses behavior that most people would not prioritize. Again, meeting a quota prevents resources from being put to the best use.
Chink in the I-9 admission clause armor.
At the end of an I-9 audit in which a fine is imposed, ICE requires employers to sign a settlement agreement that contains an admission of liability. ICE consistently refuses to waive this paragraph in the agreement. If the employer is then found to have I-9 violations in the future, it will be treated as a repeat offender, raising fines and penalties.
California Mantel, Inc., pushed back on this requirement by filing a motion to enforce settlement with OCAHO, the administrative adjudicatory body that governs I-9 violations. OCAHO found that in this instance, ICE had agreed to a settlement amount before sending the agreement, and thus admission clause was not part of the deal.
No doubt ICE attorneys will change their settlement negotiations in light of this case. But it points out the benefit of pushing back on admission clauses, which are no longer standard in other administrative fine contexts, and gives attorneys more ammo to argue against them.
Good work, California Mantel, its attorneys and the American Immigration Lawyers Association OCAHO Liaison Committee for bringing this advancement to our attention!