August 24, 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT: Keeping employers on their toes, USCIS has released a revised M-274 Handbook for Employers. The new version includes instructions for TPS auto extensions and clarifies the correct procedures for Refugees and Asylees. Further changes include additional information on EAD Cards and extra document samples such as the Micronesia and Marshall Island passports. For your reading pleasure, a copy of the newly revised Handbook for Employers can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf

August 23, 2011

It's always good to refresh our knowledge of I-9 compliance requirements. From time to time, EVRI will be posting events that help remind us of some of the pitfalls facing employers today. On August 22, 2011, a settlement was reached between the Department of Justice and Farmland Foods, Inc. (subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc.) for allegations made by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that Farmland was violating the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 by requesting additional documentation for non-U.S. citizens and foreign-born U.S. citizens during the I-9 process. As part of the Settlement Agreement, Farmland agreed to pay $290,400 in civil penalties. This is the highest civil penalty for anti-discriminatory practices paid through...

August 17, 2011

E-Verify Self Check has now expanded to 16 states across the country. This tool allows employees to check their work eligibility status and offers them a chance to clear any anomalies in E-Verify prior to finding new employment. It should be noted that employers cannot insist a candidate present the self check at any time as this could be construed as pre-screening. Self Check is now available to candidates whose current address is located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New york, Ohie, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and District of Columbia. Self Check is offered in both English and Spanish.

July 22, 2011

I-9 Audits are growing exponentially. In a recent article published on Boston.com, a part of The Boston Globe, the emphasis was put on what is happening in the New England Area. There have been 14 investigations amounting to $285K in fines and penalties over the past fiscal year in New England . The audits were issued on various different industries from construction to manufacturing to cleaning companies and healthcare. There’s no telling who they will target now.

Companies can avoid potential fines and negative exposure by simply ensuring that I-9s must be kept in order and completed correctly. But there are other issues assessed during the audit and fine assessment stages. As noted by Bruce M. Foucart, head of investigations for ICE in New England, remember that the ICE...

July 20, 2011

On July 18, the DHS Ombudsman’s Office released information on the systemic challenges facing delays in the issuance of Employment Authorization Documents. Concerns and recommendations have been submitted and USCIS must respond within 90 days from July 11, 2011.

The Ombudsman has identified the following concerns:

  • USCIS in some cases fails to meet its regulatory requirement to process applications for employment authorization in 90 days, and USCIS generally does not issue interim Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
  • When processing for EADs is delayed, individuals and employers experience adverse consequences. Applicants experience financial hardship due to job interruption and termination, business operations stall due to loss of employee services...