Immigration Law

Recent Posts

MN Staffing Company Hit With $227K I-9 Fine: USA v. Employer Solutions
Posted on 2 Feb 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Noteworthy : "The parties do not dispute, and the record clearly reflects, that ESSG II’s standard operating procedure was for its personnel in Edina, Minnesota to sign the section 2 attestation after reviewing copies of the employees’... Read More

How Much Money Did DOJ (EOIR) and DHS (ICE) Spend to Collect This $500 I-9 Fine?
Posted on 28 Dec 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

A small convenience store in Maine failed to prepare I-9 forms for two employees, both related to the owner and known to be U.S. citizens. In the end, OCAHO levied a fine of $500. Do the rough math, totaling up the per diem salaries of the ICE investigators... Read More

Tags: keegan , fine , ocaho , I-9

OCAHO and ICE Continue to Disagree on Size of Penalties for I-9 Violations
Posted on 5 Apr 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Recent decisions of the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) continue to demonstrate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and OCAHO strongly disagree on the appropriate level of penalties for small employers committing... Read More

OCAHO Sets I-9 Fine at $605K for 'Motivation to Conform' - USA v. Hartmann Studios
Posted on 15 Jul 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"ICE is entitled to summary decision as to liability for 808 violations. OCAHO case law has emphasized that penalties should have a deterrent effect on an employer’s behavior and not merely be a cost of doing business. Emp’r Solutions... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine by One-Third: USA v. Senox
Posted on 11 Jun 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

[Full disclosure: my client, my case.] "The penalties [ICE sought] were then aggravated based on the large size of the company, but the remaining factors were treated neutrally, so the final rate was $981.75 for each violation, or a total of ... Read More

Tags: senox , fine , ocaho , I-9

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $10.7K to $4.5K - USA v. New Star
Posted on 26 Jul 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"For a fledgling “mom and pop” restaurant with only ten employees and a payroll totaling only $84,147 for the calendar year 2010, moreover, the proposed penalty appears unduly harsh as well as disproportionate to the size and the status... Read More

Tags: new star , fine , ocaho , 1192 , I-9

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Fines in Half; La Tolteca; Red Coach
Posted on 13 Aug 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

In two Aug. 7, 2013 restaurant cases, OCAHO reduced the I-9 fines roughly by half: From $36K to $16K - USA v. NEW SUN TRANSIT, INC. D/B/A ) LA TOLTECA MEXICAN RESTAURANT From $30K to $16K - USA v. THE RED COACH RESTAURANT, INC. Read More

OCAHO 'Publishes' the CA9 Ketchikan I-9 Decision
Posted on 23 Sep 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer publishes decisions that have been selected for and may be used as precedent pursuant to 5 U.S.C. section 552(a)(2). Each decision has been given an OCAHO Reference Number for publication purposes... Read More

Brooklyn Scaffolding Firm Fined $151K for I-9 Violations: USA v. Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc.
Posted on 10 Mar 2017 by Daniel M. Kowalski

USA v. Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc., 12 OCAHO no. 1297, Mar. 10, 2017 - "ICE’s Motion for Summary Decision is GRANTED, IN PART. Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc. is liable for 189 violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B) and is directed... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $22.4K to $9.6K; Employer 'Unaware' of I-9 Form
Posted on 1 Feb 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The company’s answer to the complaint asked for reduction in the proposed penalties because the respondent is a small cafe unable to pay a fine of $22,440 as is requested. The answer notes that Imperial Valley, California, has the highest... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $54K to $27K - USA v. PM Packaging
Posted on 2 Jul 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"[t]he proposed penalty of $53,762.50 is close to the maximum permissible of $55,000. Our case law consistently holds that penalties so close to the maximum should be reserved for more egregious violations than have been demonstrated here. See United... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $38K to $18K - USA v. East Coast Foods
Posted on 22 Jun 2016 by Daniel M. Kowalski

USA v. East Coast Foods, June 21, 2016 - "The government met its burden of proving that East Coast Foods, Inc., is liable for thirty-six violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). The company is therefore directed to pay civil money penalties... Read More

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $265K to $89K: USA v. Two For Seven, LLC
Posted on 24 Jan 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"ICE has requested a penalty of $935 per violation, totaling $264,605 for two hundred eighty-three violations. ... ICE’s proposed fine, moreover, amounts to more than half of the company’s income for 2011, an excessive fine for a relatively... Read More

OCAHO Cuts I-9 Penalty in Half: Mott Thoroughbred Stables, Inc.
Posted on 30 Oct 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"ICE’s motion seeks summary decision as to liability and the imposition of penalties totaling $68,161.50. ... ICE’s proposed penalties computed at the rate of $841.50 for each violation amount to more than three quarters of the maximum... Read More

Tags: fine , ocaho , mott , I-9

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $15.8K to $7.4K: U.S.A. v. Metropolitan Warehouse
Posted on 24 Dec 2013 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Proportionality is essential in setting penalties, Pegasus, 10 OCAHO no. 1143 at 7. The goal is to reach a result that is sufficiently meaningful to accomplish the purpose of deterring future violations, United States v. Jonel, Inc., 8 OCAHO no... Read More