By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Effective January 20, 2018, the civil penalties for a variety of immigration-related violations increased dues to an adjustment for inflation. Below is a chart setting forth the old and new amounts:

Type of Violation Old Amounts New Amounts
I-9 substantive violation $220 - $2191 $224 - $2236
Knowingly employing undocumented worker $548 - $4384 $559 - $4473
Unfair Documentary Practice $181 - $1811 $185 - $1848
Immigration-Related Discrimination $452 - $3621 $461 - $3695
These increases are another reason to conduct an internal audit of your I-9 forms. Through such, an employer can remedy or mitigate many violations before Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Immigrations and Employees Rights Section (IER) discovers them. To learn more about employer immigration compliance and steps you can take to prevent I-9 violations and hiring undocumented workers, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, which is available at