Immigration Lawyers Help Businesses with Employment Verification
In the years since the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"), employers have been required to prepare and retain Form I-9 Employment Verification forms for all of their employees. For the years following implementation there was much confusion among employers and there was little enforcement, and fraud and carelessness were routinely ignored. Until recently it was unusual for the government to file a case against an employer for IRCA violations.
Immigration Lawyers Provide Training on Employment Verification
In 2007, NPZ Law Group received a Federal Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-related Employment Practices ("OSC") to train employers in the State of New Jersey and throughout the Country (by WEBINAR) about their obligations for employment eligibility verification and sanctions. Since receiving this prestigious Federal Grant, our Attorneys have traveled across the country to train HR professionals, CEOs and hiring managers to help them comply with the employment verification and employer sanction laws. We have also partnered with representatives of ICE to train about IMAGE and with DHS to train employers about E-Verify.
The DOJ Grant gives our Team the opportunity to train employers throughout the U.S. in the following areas::
- Social Security Mismatch Compliance: Employers can learn what to do when the Social Security number an employee provides does not match the name that the individual has given to the Social Security Administration.
- E-Verify and its New Photo Screening: E-Verify is a free online tool that helps employers to verify the work authorization of its workforce. The new photo tool checks the photo of a newly hired employee with the Department of Homeland Security's databases and the data from the U.S. Social Security Administration to help catch cases of identity theft.
- ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE):
This application-based program has been promulgated by ICE a it allows businesses that participate to have access to quickly verify the employment eligibility of new hires, as well as check their current workforce and comply with ICE's 10 Best Practices for Employers.
- Acceptable Verification Documents: CIS recently began issuing new Employment Authorization Documents to aliens authorized to work temporarily in the United States. Our staff can train employers about what documents will enable them to accurately undertake verification of its employees under various immigrant and nonimmigrant benefit programs.
- State Legislation Related to Employment Verification: States like Colorado and Arizona, like many other States throughout the U.S. have undertaken to pass statutes about the employment verification process. Many State Legislatures felt that the Federal Government was not doing enough to curb unauthorized workers from entering the U.S. The members of our Firm can help you and your Human Resources Team to understand what you need to do to comply with State rules and regulations about employment verification.
Within the past few years the situation has changed dramatically. IRCA Enforcement is now handled by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"). Enforcement has become focused and intense. ICE has begun organizing high-profile raids on businesses that are improperly employing foreign nationals, levying criminal and civil charges on business managers and employees alike, and imposing heavy sanctions against companies. Sanctions include monetary fines, jail time and or a ban on hiring foreign nationals.
The process for hiring legal workers is complex. In some circumstances, you may have sponsored a foreign national for a green card and found out later that they may have presented fraudulent documents or a stolen identity card.
An employer who knowingly hires an illegal or unauthorized worker could face civil and criminal penalties and be subject to employer sanctions. Proper employment verification compliance may reduce the chances for hiring illegal immigrants and reduce a clients' exposure to potential liability.
The Business and Corporate Immigration Attorneys at our Firm have focused their practice, for over a decade and a half, on assisting companies that employ highly-skilled foreign nationals in visa applications. We serve our clients' business objectives. A natural extension of that service is counsel that helps the client to avoid the disruption and expense of ICE audits and the consequences of being found to be out of compliance with employment verification (Form I-9) rules and IRCA regulations.
The risks are high-few large companies have accurately filled out every I-9 Form and many businesses would be, if scrutinized, found to be out of compliance.
At NPZ Law Group, our Business Immigration Attorneys and Immigration Specialist Staff offer counsel to companies, non-profit organizations and government entities, assisting them with employment verification compliance.
Our Business Immigration Attorneys can organize and conduct a review of records, assist in establishing procedures to reduce exposure to liability, and participate in training of managers to comply with employment verification requirements.
Below are some of the many reference documents available to assist you and the members of your Human Resources Team with regard to the employment verification process:
- I-9 Forms
- M-274, Employer Handbook
- How to Complete Form I-9 for Employment Verification
- Questions and Answers on Employment Eligibility Verification
- DHS Best Hiring Practices
- USCIS E-Verify Program
- E-Verify Fact Sheet
- IMAGE Program and ICE
- ICE Workforce Enforcement Advisory Feb 2008
- Office of Special Counsel Programs
- Discrimination/EEOC Defense
- Social Security Mismatch Compliance
- Social Security Mismatch Fact Sheet
Our skilled staff of immigration law Attorneys and Immigration Specialist Staff are sensitive to the needs of our clients. Many members of our staff are themselves foreign born and have family and/or friends who have gone through the immigration process. As a result, our Business Immigration Staff maintain a personal and unique approach. Our legal team can clearly train you and/or your staff about employment verification and employer sanctions and discrimination on the basis of citizenship and nationality in Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Tamil, Hindi, Slovak, Czech, Russian, Chinese, German and English.
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