ICE Again Updates IMAGE Program Webpage, Restores List of Employers, Changes Language

By Jon Feere on March 14, 2024

In November 2022, the Biden administration updated a web page on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website to remove a long list of employers participating in ICE’s Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program. Launched in July 2006, IMAGE is designed — as originally explained at ICE’s website — to “combat unlawful employment and reduce vulnerabilities that help illegal aliens gain such employment”. The Biden administration changed “illegal aliens” to “undocumented noncitizens”, but recently did a complete overhaul of the language. Now, ICE explains that enrollment in IMAGE “provides employers with solutions to hiring process challenges through outreach and education with the goal of fostering workforce integrity and compliance with the law”. I’ve written about the previous edits to the IMAGE webpage, here and here.

All employers should consider becoming IMAGE-certified. Employers who enroll in the program receive training from ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on hiring procedures, including how to detect fraudulent documents, how to use E-Verify, and how to avoid discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. IMAGE-certified employers are unlikely to face an ICE worksite investigation, arrest of their unlawful employees, and subsequent prosecution.

The latest changes to the IMAGE website include a few notable updates and one important addition.

References to illegal aliens have been dropped and nearly all references to ICE have been dropped as well; in place of ICE, it now reads HSI, which isn’t necessarily a problem since IMAGE is managed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a division within ICE. It appears the effort is aimed at making IMAGE look less like an immigration-enforcement-focused program in the hope that more businesses will participate. Of course, the “I” in IMAGE stands for “ICE” and the website does include this line: “Knowingly hiring undocumented noncitizens is a crime and will be penalized.” Alternatively, it may be that removing references to ICE is part of a half-baked effort by HSI to distance itself from ICE, generally (an impulse which has shown itself before).

There are also now references to child labor, which is no surprise in light of the explosion in illegal alien child labor that the Biden administration has created with its reckless anti-border policies, discussed in further detail here and here.

But the most significant addition is actually a return of information that was previously scrubbed by the Biden administration, and that’s a list of some of the employers that have become IMAGE certified. A screencap of that list is below in case it disappears in the future. These employers should be commended for working to comply with federal law and avoid unlawful hiring practices.

Any employers seeking more information on IMAGE should contact ICE by filling out this form.