Immigration Crackdown: DHS Launches Thousands of H-1B Inspections, I-9 Audits

November 20, 2009 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

By Christopher L. Thomas

The federal government is making it clear to employers that immigration enforcement is a priority for the Obama administration, and that employers failing to comply with the law face severe consequences.

On November 19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent out a notice that it intends to audit the I-9 forms of 1,000 employers. The audits are in addition to news from July in which 654 employers were informed that their I-9 forms would be scrutinized. Additional waves of audits are also expected.

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U.S. District Court Upholds E-Verify System

August 27, 2009 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

This week, a Maryland U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the U.S. government in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the E-Verify system (Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Napolitano). This means that beginning September 8, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to use the E-Verify system to ensure their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. The requirement is designed to stop federal contractors and subcontractors from hiring illegal immigrants.

The E-Verify system is a federal government online database program that allows employers to verify employment eligibility by electronically comparing employee information taken from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) against the records in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. The system, which facilitates compliance with federal immigration laws and is currently voluntary for employers, is jointly operated by the DHS and the SSA and is overseen by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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U.S. Senate Approves Several Amendments Dealing with Immigration Enforcement

July 13, 2009 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

By Hector A. Chichoni

On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, the U.S. Senate approved several amendments dealing with immigration enforcement and benefits that were not included in the 2010 homeland security appropriations bill (H.R. 2892) passed previously by the House of Representatives.

An amendment introduced by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) dealing with E-Verify was passed by a voice vote after a motion by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to table it was rejected 44 to 53.

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Federal Contractors Required to Use E-Verify Starting September 8

July 10, 2009 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

Beginning Sept. 8, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to use the E-Verify system to ensure their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.The requirement is designed to stop federal contractors and subcontractors from hiring illegal immigrants.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced this week that the Obama administration will require employers that are awarded federal contracts to use E-Verify. The requirement for federal contractors to use E-Verify was originally set to go into place in January 2009, but was postponed so that the new administration could review the new rule.

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South Carolina’s Verification Rules for Private Employers Take Effect July 1

May 15, 2009 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

Last summer, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed legislation that requires private employers to verify the employment eligibility of new employees. On July 1, 2009, these rules will take effect for private employers with 100 or more employees.

Under the new verification laws, employers that are required by federal law to complete and maintain federal employment eligibility forms or documents (Form I-9s) have two options. First, they can use the E-verify federal work authorization program to verify all new employees’ information and work authorizations within five business days of their hire. E-Verify is a free online federal system that allows employers to electronically compare employee information taken from a Form I-9 against the records in the databases of the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

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Categories: DHS / South Carolina

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DHS Shifts Worksite Enforcement Strategy to Employers, Not Illegal Workers

May 04, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On April 30, the Department of Homeland Security distributed its Worksite Enforcement Strategy describing how it plans to step up its efforts to enforce immigration laws. The new strategy focuses on reducing the demand for illegal employment by targeting employers that knowingly hire illegal workers as well as the workers themselves.

Last week, updated guidance was distributed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Effective immediately, ICE will focus its resources on the criminal prosecution of employers that knowingly hire illegal workers. Only 135 of the more than 6,000 arrests related to worksite enforcement in 2008 were employers.

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Categories: DHS / ICE

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