Immigration has been a controversial subject within the green industry for years.  Federal, stated, and local laws frequently pose a direct conflict for business owners who do not want to run afoul of the law, as commonly demonstrated by many companies confronted with serious legal action due to poor recordkeeping, personal knowledge of employing illegal aliens, and procedural omission.  Aside from all of the caterwauling, finger-pointing, and social justice rhetoric, it is simply in each business owner’s best interests to always be legally compliant and prepared for a potential ICE immigration audit.

To that end, the list below summarizes frequently-subpoenaed documents requested of companies as part of a standard ICE immigration audit.


  • Original I-9 Forms.
  • Copy of I-9 Forms on a disk or thumb drive.
  • Copies of documents the employee presented during completion of the I-9 Form.
  • A list of current employees to include their first and last names, with their position/title and hire date listed on an Excel spreadsheet. Please number the spreadsheet in the left column.
  • Printouts from E-Verify if applicable.
  • Taxpayer Identification Number/Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • Payroll reports for the most recent period ending prior to the date of this subpoena.
  • Payroll reports for the most recent period ending after the date of this subpoena.
  • Most recent quarterly report of the state-required Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (i.e., DE-9C in California).
  • Most recent Employer Quarterly Federal Tax Return (i.e., Form 941).
  • Copy of Articles of Incorporation, or documentation showing Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, etc.
  • Owner address information, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.
  • Copy of business license.
  • Name and title of the company official to whom official correspondence should be addressed.
  • Please respond to the following questions:
    1. Who handles hiring and completing the I-9 Form?
    2. Who is the owner of the business?
    3. Does the owner own any other businesses? If so, what are the names of the businesses?
    4. Does the business have any other locations?
    5. Type of business entity.
    6. Do you use E-Verify? If so, please provide the date E-Verify started.
    7. Does your company have any written policies/internal guidelines that address employment eligibility verification? If so, please provide.
    8. Does the business have any government contracts?
    9. Have there been previous visits from DOL, INS, ICE, or HSI?
    10. Do you use independent contractors? If so, please provide a list of independent contractors used with full names, address, and social security number.
    11. Does the hiring manager have knowledge of the laws governing employment eligibility verification and the provisions regarding the preparation of the I-9 Form?
    12. What is the business entity’s procedures for requesting production of documents from new employees used to establish identity and employment eligibility at the time of hire?
  • The above information is requested for all employees that are currently hired by the company as of this date. The information requested is for all locations.

When confronted with federal law, business owners must stay focused on the fundamentals indicative of legal compliance, especially when it is related to immigration.  It is hoped that the aforementioned list helps companies apply targeted effort to achieve compliance and/or be prepared for an ICE immigration audit.  If you have any questions or comments, simply call Steve Cesare (760) 685-3800.

Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.