According to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the division within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that enforces the employer sanctions requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), there has been a sharp decline in the number of “Form I-9” audits conducted over the last two years. Interestingly, the data seem at odds with the Obama Administration’s previously announced strategy that ICE was taking a more aggressive stand on employer-focused worksite immigration enforcement, with a heightened focus on Form I-9 audits in particular.

Specifically, the ICE data show that the number of I-9 audits peaked in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (3,127) before plunging in FY 2014 (1,320) and remaining stable in FY 2015 (1,242).

Although ICE has not been willing to comment on the reasons for the downward trend in Form I-9 audits, the statistics certainly indicate that ICE has quietly re-prioritized its enforcement efforts elsewhere.

Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.