The government announced last week its intention to audit the hiring records of 1,000 employers of all sizes across the country. ICE says the selection of targeted employers is random, but MacDonald says certain industries are particularly prone to the audits. In February, the agency made a similar announcement and investigated 1,000 employers. Adding in whistleblower tips, the latest action brings the number of I-9 audits for fiscal year 2011 up to 2,300.

“Supposedly it’s a random selection,” MacDonald says. “Really, it’s random within a very specific set of industries. ICE looks for companies that traditionally hire a large volume of undocumented workers, such as the agricultural industry, the construction industry, and the hospitality industry.”

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