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Archive for the ‘Worksite Enforcement’ Category

USCIS Issues Revised Employment Authorization Document

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has revised the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Form I-766, to incorporate the addition of a machine-readable zone on the back of the card..

This update to the EAD is part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. Starting May 11, USCIS began issuing the revised EAD cards. The machine-readable zone is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. USCIS also removed the two-dimensional bar code on the backside of the card and moved the informational box of text to just beneath the magnetic stripe on the card.  The revised card retains all of its existing security features. 

Old Card Design:                                           New Card Design:  

These revisions are the result of extensive collaboration among Department of Homeland Security components, particularly U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and USCIS. 


Written by MithrasLaw

May 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Another 1000 Companies to be Audited by ICE

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week that it will be expanding its audit program and that it has notified 1000 companies last week that they would have to undergo a review. ICE, in its first audit, reviewed 654 companies and fined 61 of the 654 companies audited.

According to ICE, the audit is the Obama Administration’s plan to crack down on companies that hire and rely on such illegal workers and to reduce illegal immigration by forcing companies to get rid of unauthorized workers.

Although the identity of the 1000 companies to face an audit was not revealed, ICE officials suggested that audits will affect private companies are involved with infrastructure operations like gas and electric utilities and contractors on military bases but not retailers and manufacturers of nonessential goods.

Typically, an audit consists of ICE officials checking each worker’s E-Verify form, known as an I-9, to confirm that the employees were eligible to work before they were hired.

Written by MithrasLaw

November 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Effective Today Federal Contractors and Subcontractors Required to Use E-Verify

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Effective today Federal Contractors and Subcontractors will be required to use the E-Verify system, an electronic system to verify their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States, if their contract includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify Clause.

Companies awarded a contract with the E-Verify clause on or after September 8 2009 will be required to enroll in E-Verify within 30 days of the contract award date.  E-Verify must be used to confirm that all new hires, whether employed on a federal contract or not, and existing employees directly working on these contracts are legally authorized to work in the United States.

The U.S District Court Judge Alexander Williams Jr. rejected an emergency motion for an injunction by U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to delay the mandate while a federal appeal is pending. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups argue that that it is illegal for the government to extend E-verify to contractors through an executive order and that E-Verify will put greater liability on employers and employers will incur a cost burden to modify their payroll systems or existing personnel.

E-Verify,  which compares information from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) against federal government databases to verify workers’ employment eligibility, is a free web-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The system facilitates compliance with federal immigration laws and helps to deter unauthorized individuals from attempting to work and also helps employers avoid employing unauthorized aliens. Although the the E-verify system will reduce hiring of illegal immigrants by verifying documentation it is not fool proof as it fails to verify identities of employees and thus illegal workers using the identities of other workers who are authorized to work in the U.S. could continue to do so.

For more information on the program see here:

Written by MithrasLaw

September 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Did You Know You Could be Randomly Audited by USCIS Site Visit Assessors if you are an H-1B Visa Employer?

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In an effort to increase its anti-fraud enforcement efforts, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been sending out its assessors to make “surprise audit visits” to the the U.S. work sites of companies that sponsor  H-1B and L-1 visa-holders. The USCIS assessors/auditors visit the workplace with a checklist of questions to confirm identity of the employer who sponsored the visa beneficiary and to verify that both the employer and the employee are in compliance with the regulations and conditions of the visa.

A USCIS spokesperson confirmed that the agency has begun conducting random on-site inspections as part of the expansion of its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program, which was launched at the beginning of this fiscal year.

What is concerning is that the USCIS, unlike the Department of Labor, lacks any statutory authority to investigate an employers’ compliance to the sponsored visa obligations by entering an employer’s workplace. Although, employers’ co-operation to the site visit assessors is not obligatory, but, the point is,  not many employers are  aware of this.

While putting an end to abuses of the visa programs is important and crucial, a random audit by an agency, that is not authorized to do so by a statute, seems unfair and an arbitrary tactic that may backfire on the USCIS.

Written by MithrasLaw

August 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm

FAR E-Verify Regulation Further Delayed

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E-Verify is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Internet-based system that allows employers to verify employment eligibility by comparing employee information taken from the I-9 form against records kept in Social Security Administration (SSA) and DHS databases. The rule mandates on most federal contractors and subcontractors a modified version of the EVerify/Basic Pilot program—requiring re verification of the workforce and creating vicarious liability for subcontractors.

The last agreed suspension extended the applicability date of the rule to June 30, 2009. Today, the litigants (including SHRM, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the HR Policy Association agreed to extend the applicability date to September 8, 2009, and asked the court to stay the proceedings further to allow President Barrack Obama’s Administration more time to complete its review of this rule.

Under the new applicability date, which is expected to appear sometime this week in the Federal Register, any solicitations that occur prior to September 8, 2009, would not contain the contract clauses that the rule would impose.

Written by MithrasLaw

June 3, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Revised Form I-9 Now in Effect since April 3, 2009

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The revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, went into effect on April 3, 2009 and employers may no longer use previous version of the Form I-9.  Check the revision date printed on the lower right-hand corner of the form to make sure you are using the revised Form I-9.

The revised Form I-9 specifies that employers may no longer use expired documents as acceptable forms of identification or employment authorization.

For futher details on the employers’ obligations and differences between the current and revised Form I-9, see our attorney, Hanishi Ali’s recent article published in the Indus Business Journal.

The revised Form I-9 can be obtained here.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Understanding the Employment Verification Process and Revised Form I-9 For Employers and HR Proffessionals

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The Form I-9 helps employers to verify that the individuals they hire are authorized to work in the United States. An employer is required to complete a Form I-9 for every new employee hired and prohibited from using the I-9 process to screen job applicants.

All employers are required by legislation to verify the identity and employment authorization of each employee they hire for employment in the United States after November 6, 1986, including non-citizens and nationals of the United States.

With increased Immigration enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security, understanding I-9 compliance and having established company procedures for tracking and maintaining I-9 compliance has become ever important for employers and HR Professionals. 

Employers can expect a revised Form I-9, which is likely to come into effect on April 3, 2009.

For more on employers’ obligations and differences between the current and revised Form I-9,  see our attorney, Hanishi Ali’s recent article published in the Indus Business Journal.

Written by MithrasLaw

March 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm

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