Form I-9 E-Verify

Texas Lawmakers Seek Penalties on Misclassification of Illegals
Texas Lawmakers Seek Penalties on Misclassification of Illegals

Are companies padding their bottom line by misclassifying workers as independent contractors?  Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) says this technique is used quite often, especially by construction companies.  She alleges they misclassify illegal immigrants so they don’t have to fill out the mandatory I-9 forms to prove an employee is legally allowed to work in the United States.

Why You Should Abandon Paper I-9s ASAP
Why You Should Abandon Paper I-9s ASAP

A few days ago we received an alert that the Colorado Affirmation form had been updated, and all employers dealing with that state needed to make sure they were using the new form as of October 1. I checked with our compliance department to see what this important change was so I could get the message out to our readers ASAP. You could be audited or even  fined if you miss this change. Are you ready for the big change? 

Slurpee Sins – ICE Hits 7-Elevens Hard
Slurpee Sins – ICE Hits 7-Elevens Hard

Nine 7-Eleven franchisees and operators are under indictment for allegedly conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and harboring illegal immigrants.  This is the largest criminal immigrant employment investigation ever conducted.

Legislative Alert – July 28th, 2014
Legislative Alert – July 28th, 2014

Ban The Box The state of Illinois joins the wave of banning the box.  Governor Pat Quinn signed the  initiative into law, which is intended to help ex-offenders applying for jobs in the private sector.  Employers and employment agencies must now hold off on criminal background checks until after applicants are deemed qualified for the job in question.

Don’t Let Simple Form I-9 Compliance Mistakes Shut You Down
Don’t Let Simple Form I-9 Compliance Mistakes Shut You Down

The owners of the Black and Blue Restaurant of Rochester, New York started this New Year by handing $88,700 over to the feds.  Their crime?  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) accused the restaurant of failing to prepare I-9 forms for 19 employees, and having hundreds more that were incomplete.  ICE originally wanted $264,605 in penalties… but after an appeal, the Department of Justice settled for less. This is not the first time I-9 violations have nearly cost a restaurant owner their livelihood.

Best Practices for I-9 Compliance to Ensure a Successful DHS Audit
Best Practices for I-9 Compliance to Ensure a Successful DHS Audit

Your company's I-9 compliance should be treated as sacred as its mission statement, corporate vision, employee handbook, or any other policy or procedure used to ensure the continued success of your business. Hiring ineligible or undocumented workers at your workplace could have grave affects on your business and its financial success. The Federal Immigration and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 prohibits U.S. businesses from hiring unauthorized immigrants or ineligible workers and that is the bottom line. A Texas-based technology consulting and outsourcing company learned the hard way and recently settled for a record $34 million dollar civil lawsuit with the U.S. government for systemic visa fraud and abuse of the immigration processes. Think about a scenario when an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) arrives at your business and detains several undocumented workers as part of a raid or even in a response to a routine Notice of Inspection (NOI). Could a significant loss of workforce put you out of business? In addition, DHS fines and penalties are significant and range anywhere from $375 to $16,000 per employee violation. Anyone with a pattern or practice of hiring, recruiting or referring unauthorized aliens can even be put in jail for 6 months.

E-Verify Suspended Due To Government Shutdown
E-Verify Suspended Due To Government Shutdown

Another victim of the latest government shutdown is E-Verify – the online system employers use to check immigration statuses of new hires. The system has been put on hold and employers will not be able to run new hires in E-Verify as long as the shutdown continues.

Employers Should Take Note of the Latest E-Verify Updates from the USCIS
Employers Should Take Note of the Latest E-Verify Updates from the USCIS

As many employers know, E-Verify is a government-managed system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility.  There is currently active E-Verify legislation in over half of the 50 states, and this number is constantly increasing.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released a few news items regarding the E-Verify system:

Legislative Alert – E-Verify and New Form I-9 Updates
Legislative Alert – E-Verify and New Form I-9 Updates

A notification from USCIS went out to subscribers yesterday, stating that in the USCIS’s initial release of the latest “E-Verify Connection”, March 2013 Issue XII, USCIS incorrectly stated the new Form I-9’s revision date and expiration date. Employers should note that the correct revision date for the new Form I-9, as issued by USCIS, is (03/08/2013 N) and the expiration date is 03/31/2016.

Legislative Alert – USCIS Issues New Form I-9
Legislative Alert – USCIS Issues New Form I-9

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new Form I-9 on March 08, 2013. Employers who require additional implementation time for use of the new Form I-9 may use the old Form I-9 until May 07, 2013. However, after May 07, 2013, all employers must use the new Form I-9, which is marked with the revision date of (Rev. 03/08/13)N in the lower right-hand portion of the form. 

ICE is Issuing Steep Penalties – Are You Using an Electronic Form I-9 Solution?
ICE is Issuing Steep Penalties – Are You Using an Electronic Form I-9 Solution?

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently penalized a clothing manufacturer based in New Jersey with a $625,000 fine for Form I-9 violations. Employers should take note that I-9 compliance audits are not out-of-the-ordinary for ICE, and that the penalties can be (and often are) quite steep. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted that penalties for Form I-9 violations can range from $110 to $1,100 per form. Furthermore, if a company is found to be hiring or continuing to employ a person that is not authorized to work in the United States, the penalties jump to a range of $375 to $16,000 per unauthorized worker.

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