Once DHS notifies an employer that an employee may have presented documents that appear to be suspect or invalid as proof of employment authorization, it is incumbent on the employer to take reasonable actions to verify the employment eligibility of the employee. Verification of employment authorization must be conducted in the time reasonably necessary to determine the employment authorization of the individual concerned. The law does not allow for any period of continued employment of an unauthorized employee, nor authorize any delay in the verification of the employment authorization of an employee for the purpose of replacing terminated employees.
Employers determined to have knowingly hired or continued to employ unauthorized workers under INA § 274A(a)(1)(a) or (a)(2) (8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(a) or(a)(2)) will be required to cease the unlawful activity, may be fined, and in certain situations may be criminally prosecuted. Additionally, an employer found to have knowingly hired or continued to employ unauthorized workers may be subject to debarment by ICE, meaning that the employer will be prevented from participating in future federal contracts and from receiving other government benefits.