By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The U.S. of Homeland Security and Department of Justice have increased a variety of immigration-related fines/penalties, effective June 17, 2020, and June 19, 2020, respectively. These increases were pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. Since that time, penalties have been adjusted yearly based on the rate of inflation.

Below is the chart listing the increases:
Offense Old Penalty New Penalty
Substantive Form I-9 violations - minimum $230 $234
Substantive Form I-9 violations - maximum $2,292 $2,332
Substantive Form I-9 violations - maximum $573-$4,586 $583-$4,667
Knowingly employing undocumented – 2nd $4,586-$11,463 $4,667-$11,665
Knowingly employing undocumented – 3rd $4,586-$11,463 $6,999-$23,331
Document Fraud $473-$9,472 $481-$9,639
Document Fraud $461-$3,695 $481-$4,667
Immigration-related discrimination – 2nd $3,695-$9,239 $3,885-$9,639
Immigration-related discrimination – 3rd $5,543-$18,477 $5,783-$19,277
Document abuse $185-$1,848 $193 to $1,928


















These penalties apply to violations that took place after November 2, 2015. For violations that took place before November 2, 2015, the penalties are substantially less. As an example, substantive Form I-9 violations before November 2, 2015 range from $110 to $1,100.

If you are concerned about your company’s immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.