Immigration Newsletter

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Now is the Time to Audit Employee I-9 Forms!

Here is a copy of an article on

Immigration enforcement strategy emerges

A clearer picture is now emerging of the government's current immigration enforcement strategy against employers. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently sent out 652 notices (more than the total sent out all of last year) to employers that they soon will be subject to inspection regarding their compliance with I-9 form requirements.

It might be a good time to do your own I-9 audit (the current I-9 form is still valid despite an expiration date on it of 2/02/09). Instead of raids with gun toting federal officers, employers with known undocumented workers have received notices warning them to fix the problem or face enforcement actions.

Although DHS has indicated it will drop its "no-match" regulations (now blocked by court order), which are rules issued during the Bush years regarding how employers should deal with employees whose names do not match their Social Security numbers, the Senate has signaled that it wants these rules kept in place. The Senate also has voted to make the E-Verify program permanent.

E-Verify is the federal system allowing employers to electronically verify that someone is legally authorized to work in the United States. Finally, the Obama administration has announced that effective September 8, 2009, federal procurement contractors will have to use E-Verify for all new procurement contracts.

By Michael Patrick O'Brien, Esq.

(Almost any little, technical mistake on a form I-9 can lead to a fine -- and typically there are many minor mistakes and sometimes some pretty glaring ones on these forms.  Requiring too many documents to verify employment eligibility is a common mistake and there are many others.  It can make good financial sense to have an audit performed and a training or refresher course given to the human resource professionals or other employees charged with maintaining the I-9 forms for your company -- before Immigration comes knocking) ...RD