Twelve Connecticut-based companies were fined as a result of investigations into employee I-9 forms by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fines were levied against these companies totaling $132,584.25 for violations including the hiring of unauthorized workers during the 2012 fiscal year. ICE's investigation is part of the federal government's increased efforts to enforce lawful employment standards and keep better track of individuals who may be entering the U.S.. to work illegally. Companies should instill strict practices when it comes to identity verification and work authorization in order to assure compliance with federal laws. Employers may consider hiring a professional firm that can initiate best practices for employee screening. Through ID verification and work authorization solutions, companies should take measures to prevent against fraudulent documents and information being cleared. Comparing an individual's Social Security number to consumer credit reports
can be one useful means of screening a prospective employee's financial history. Police reports also can provide a sense of safety for all employees at the firm. As federal agencies such as ICE increase their focus on even smaller employers, companies should protect their illegal standing and assets from any possible violations. Setting rigorous practices for employee verification could help a company stay on the right side of federal law.