Heated debates of who has the right to work within the United States have been tossed around for awhile. Recently, there’s been a shift in focus by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from the individual illegal worker to the employer who hires them.
Last month, the ICE raided Yamato Engine Specialists in Bellingham, WA, and arrested 28 illegal workers who gained employment by using fake social security numbers and counterfeit documents. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano just announced a delay in proposed raids to increase due diligence and target employers. The employer has just stepped into a very large pressure cooker.
Over 36 states have enacted some type of legislation that mandates employers to ensure that they are not hiring illegal immigrants. The result of not following these guidelines is large financial penalties and prison. Employers need to become very serious about ensuring that there workforce is legal and compliant. They need to implement compliance procedures by using the government voluntary program, E-Verify, and adapting electronic means for processing and storing Form I-9s from solutions providers such as Employment Background Investigations (EBI), or other designated agents.