The U.S. construction industry, like agriculture and manufacturing, has a reputation for relying on undocumented workers. That’s mostly because legal workers simply aren’t available, and cost much more to employ when they are.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is tasked with ensuring that employers maintain complete I-9 records, and the agency conducts audits throughout the year. Targeted industries include hospitality, agriculture, food processing, landscaping, and construction. Penalties are on the rise, with ICE issuing some of the largest fines in its history over the past two years. Despite the increased threat of a crackdown, a massive shortage of skilled workers is making it difficult for some contractors to adhere to federal hiring requirements.