Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents in San Diego, California executed a federal search warrant during a worksite enforcement operation at a market in San Diego on February 13, 2019.  During the operation, 26 individuals working at the market were determined to be in the United States without authorization.  They were temporarily taken into custody and released pending the outcome of their immigration case.

The operation was related to an ongoing worksite enforcement investigation that was initated during an I-9 audit.  Special Agent in Charge of HSI San Diego, David Shaw, stated, “HSI San Diego Special Agents are focused on bringing to justice those employers who knowingly break the law, and hire an illegal workforce causing unfair disadvantages to those companies that do comply.”

This enforcement action illustrates one of the potential consequences to an employer of an I-9 audit by ICE.  For this reason, it is critical that all employers conduct an I-9 audit and review their I-9 policies and procedures to assess whether they are complying with all of the federal laws related to employment eligibility verification.  In Fiscal Year 2019, ICE is once again expected to substantially increase the number of I-9 audits that it conducts nationwide.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about I-9 compliance or an immigration issue, please contact the Kullman Firm attorney with whom you normally work, or Patricia A. Bollman, our Immigration Law Specialist at