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ICE Releases Guidance on Evaluating Electronic I-9 Systems

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released the first-ever official guidance document for evaluating electronically generated and stored I-9 records during an audit. The document provides guidance to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and auditors on what information they should collect from employers using electronic I-9 systems as well the minimum electronic audit trail requirements for use in determining I-9 related fines. The regulations require that whenever an electronic I-9 is created, completed, updated, modified, altered or corrected, an electronic I-9 system must create a secure and permanent record that establishes the date accessed, who accessed it, and what action was taken. Employers storing electronic I-9s are also required to maintain an “indexing system” and to “reproduce legible and readable hardcopies” of the electronically completed and retained I-9 forms. Employers are well advised to partner with a vendor that takes the most conservative approach to audit trails (and the regulations) in designing their software.

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