Defensive Lawyering in a Potential Era of Constructive Knowledge

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Since Secretary Napolitano became the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this year, it is clear that DHS has realigned its enforcement assets to focus more on employers. As evidence of this realignment of assets, on July 1, 2009 ICE launched a bold, new audit initiative by issuing Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 652 businesses nationwide - which was more NOIs than ICE issued throughout all of the last fiscal year. The notices alerted business owners that ICE will inspect their hiring records to determine whether they comply with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations. ICE is also continuing to utilize the criminal enforcement tools at its disposal regarding worksite as well as benefit fraud in cooperation with USCIS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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