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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently inspected the I-9 forms of employees at Crunch Pak, an apple packaging company Cashmere, Washington with about 900 employees. ICE notified the company that hundreds of its workers have suspect documents and is demanding Crunch Pak produce documents showing its workers are legally authorized to work in the United States.

In response to ICE’s findings, Crunch Pak spokesperson Amy Philpott stated, “What the company wants is for every employee to have the chance to correct their information or amend their paperwork.” Crunch Pak has since notified its employees to produce valid documents or face termination on May 19, 2014.

The inspection of the Crunch Pak began in August 2013 when ICE served the company with a Notice of Inspection (NOI) requiring it to produce the I-9 forms of current and former employees along with a number of other payroll-related documents. In 2013, there were over 3,100 NOIs issued to employers throughout the United States. This is an increase of over 600% since 2008.

As the number of NOIs has increased, so have the penalties paid by companies. In 2012, companies paid over $12.4 million in penalties for I-9 violations. In addition to fines, some company owners and managers have been criminally charged for knowingly hiring undocumented workers and/or harboring undocumented workers.