Categories
Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Immigration Compliance

New Form I-9

On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Form I-9 Federal Register notice announcing a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.

The major changes are to the form’s instructions, which include:

1. Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
2. Updated USCIS website addresses
3. Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9
4. Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
5. Updated the DHS Privacy Notice

Categories
Immigration Compliance

Why I-9 Compliance Remains Important

On August 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit upheld charges against DLS Precision Fab LLC, a now bankrupt sheet metal company, which resulted in $305,000 in penalties for employing unauthorized immigrants. In this decision the court rejecting the company’s arguments that a rogue HR director was to blame.

DLS was found to have failed to comply with the INA’s worker verification requirements and employed more than a dozen individuals known to be ineligible to work in the U.S. DLS attributed its failure to properly vet employees on a rogue HR director who, unbeknownst to it, shirked compliance to the point “of literally stuffing the government’s correspondence in a drawer and never responding.” The Court was not persuaded by this argument.

The bulk of the charges stem from I-9 violations. I-9 violations are not merely violations when filed but remain continuing violations until DLS is no longer required by law to retain them (three years from the date of hire or one year after termination). As for retaining eligible employees, the clock starts upon termination. DLS was therefore not able to use the statute of limitations as a defense.

While these appear to be a pretty blatant violations, it is still a good reminder that properly vetting your employees and maintaining your I-9 records is very important.

Categories
Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Immigration Compliance

EMPLOYERS: You Can Use the Current Form I-9 until 01/21/2017

USCIS will publish a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification by November 22, 2016. As such, employers can continue to use the current Form I-9, dated 03/08/2013 until 01/21/2017. On or before 01/21/17, employers must use the new form.

Categories
Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Immigration Compliance

New Form I-9 Approved – Current Form I-9 Valid until 1/21/2017

On August 25, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new Form I-9 must be published by November 22, 2016. Employer can continue to use the current form until January 21, 2017. After that date, the new Form I-9 must be used. No other editions will be valid.

Categories
Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Immigration Compliance

Minnesota Promotional Marketing Company Liable for I-9 Violations

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) found International Packaging Inc., a Minnesota-based promotional marketing company liable for failing to prepare or present Forms I-9 for 21 of its employees and for substantive errors found in 73 Forms I-9. Form I-9 is used to confirm an employee’s identity and work authorization. Fines have yet to be levied but the government is arguing for baseline penalties of $935 for each violation. The judged stated that employers may be entitled to a “good faith” defense for paperwork technical or procedural violations but that defense has no application to substantive violations, such as those in this case. This is the second recent decision against a Minnesota employer by OCAHO. Last week, as we blogged, Golden Employment Group Inc. was found liable for over 465 Form I-9 violations.

Categories
Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Immigration Compliance

Temporary Employment Company Liable for Over 465 I-9 Violations

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), recently found a temporary employment company, Golden Employment Group Inc., located in Minnesota, liable for over 465 I-9 violations (United States of America v. Golden Employment Group Inc., OCAHO Case Number 15A00037). Specifically, the Judge found that they failed to timely present 125 Form I-9s and failed to prepare 236 Form I-9s. They also racked up fines for not making sure the employee completed Section 1 of the Form I-9 and other infractions. 40 claims were dismissed because Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to overcome its burden of proof. This case serves as a warning that use of E-Verify does not protect an employer from failing to properly prepare, retain, re-verify and present when asked a Form I-9 for employees hired after November 6, 1986.

Categories
Green Cards Immigration Compliance

Employers Should Continue to use the Form I-9 With an Expiration Date of 03/31/2016

The USCIS has announced that until further notice, employers should continue to use the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with expired on 03/31/2016. USCIS is in the process of drafting a new version of Form I-9 and they will provide further information once it becomes available.

Employers are required to complete a Form I-9 to confirm identity and employment verification of all new employees and should have a completed Form I-9 for each employee hired after November 6, 1986. As such, as indicated above, please continue to use the expired form until USCIS issues the new version.

Categories
Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc.

E-Verify Systems Records Purge

Starting on January 1, 2015, E-verify transaction records more than 10 years old will be deleted by the E-Verify system. E-Verify users will no longer have access to cases created prior to December 31, 2004. This action is required to comply with the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) retention and disposal schedule.

In order to retain the ability to access cases created prior to December 31, 2004, you must download the newly created Historical Records Report prior to December 31, 2014. The reports will contain all of your transaction records for cases more than 10 years old. Please note that the report will only be available until December 31, 2014. Instructions for downloading the Historical Records Report are available online at: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Verification/E-Verify/E-Verify_Native_Documents/Instructions_to_Download_NARA_Reports_in_E-Verify.pdf

In order to remain compliant with NARA, the E-Verify system will delete records annually on December 31st. Therefore, we recommend that you record the E-Verify case number on the related Form I-9 and retain the Historical Records Reports with you Forms I-9. If you did not use the E-Verify system before December 31, 2004, there will be no Historical Records Report to download.