December 8, 2016
Assessment of Employer Concerns Over the Next Few years
1. DACA is likely dead. Current work permits may be allowed to expire without being withdrawn, but new and renewal DACA filings can be swept away with the stroke of the President’s pen. This may mean some of your employees may lose their work permits and you will not be able to continue to hire them.
a.DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) allows certain undocumented immigrants to the U.S. who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for work authorization.
b.DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and expanded DACA programs will likely never be implemented.
2.Unauthorized workers will likely be targeted at the workplace via ICE raids. As employers may recall, prior to 2009 ICE conducted numerous raids on employers as opposed to audits. It is believed that more raids will be forthcoming. Employers should be prepared for these raids by ensuring that a point person exists who can manage the situation and call our office if and when a raid is in progress. The President can authorized this change of policy without Congress.
3.E-Verify will become mandatory for all employers. While mandatory E-Verify will have to be legislatively enacted, for employers who are already active users of the system it might be less likely that a raid will occur.
4.Deportation may increase. Even though an employer may employ an individual prior to its E-Verify use and who presented what appeared to be a valid work authorization document, this individual could still be arrested and deported if he/she is illegally in the U.S.
We believe that President-elect Trump and a Republican Congress will be more business friendly, even in the immigration context. However, persons here illegally and companies that knowingly hire illegals, especially if they have any crimes, will be targets for removal and fines.
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August 5, 2016
So your company was hit with an ICE audit, you paid the fine, told ICE you would terminate the unauthorized employees, and now you can relax and move on to concentrate on your core business -right? Not so fast.
Did you make sure the person verifying I-9s was trained and is minimizing the risk of hiring more unauthorized workers using fraudulent documents? Did you make sure the unauthorized workers on the Confirmation of Suspect Documents list were in fact terminated? Most importantly, have all your supervisors and management teams been informed of the necessity of avoiding any direct or indirect recruiting or hiring or retaining of unauthorized workers?
Apparently management at Mary’s Gone Crackers, Inc. decided their ICE Settlement Agreement buried the hatchet and they could go about their business. Such blindness is painful. Now they have to pay $1.5 million and institute a compliance program which will be monitored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for 2 years. Why? After telling ICE that 50 employees who were unauthorized to work had quit or would be fired the company continued to employ one individual and rehired many others all under new names. Homeland Security Investigations got wind of the “continuing to hire” violations and started a criminal investigation. Luckily, the company cooperated and was able to obtain a non-prosecution agreement.
“Our agents are determined to hold those who choose to defraud the system accountable in order to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce,” HIS Special Agent Ryan L. Spradlin said.
Why subject yourself to such bad publicity, cost and disruption at the workplace? Fraud is worse than the original violations and the likelihood of it being uncovered is great. Your supervisors and managers are representatives of your company and they must get on the bandwagon of risk avoidance by understanding that knowingly hiring or continuing to hire unauthorized workers just is not acceptable, especially after an ICE audit!
Employers are between a rock and a hard place when finding new workers in a tight labor market is difficult but it is far worse to spend time in the penitentiary, go bankrupt, face embarrassing publicity, all the while under the radar of government supervision.
If we can help you audit your verification and hiring practices before, during, or after an ICE audit, we would love to be there for you. Auditing, training, and adopting best practices is good business.
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