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
Events

ITServe Alliance’s Synergy Conference 2016

Cadence Moore will be a speaker at ITServe Alliance’s annual Synergy Conference in Frisco, TX on November 10th and 11th. Cadence will be speaking about the immigration options for corporate clients in the information technology field. If you are attending, please make sure you attend her event.

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

NH Painting Contractor to Pay Nearly $500K in Wages, Dmanages and Penalties

A NH painting contractor was charged in October 2012 for violations of the Fair Standards Labor Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage, overtime and record keeping requirements. In 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) obtained a preliminary injunction preventing the contractor from intimidating, retaliating or discriminating again current or former employees involved in the investigation and lawsuit. Specifically, the contractor threatened to call immigration if the employees cooperated with the DOL. A consent judgment was issued in which the contractor was ordered to pay $427,000 to 157 employees who were denied payment of overtime and/or minimum wage. In addition, they were ordered to pay civil money penalties to the DOL, maintain accurate records, provide employees and manager with training on FLSA’s requirements and prohibits them from withholding payment of back wages or damages, demanding, keeping or accepting back wages or damages to be paid or failing to cooperate with the DOL. The lesson to be learned here is to make sure that you comply with all laws when it comes to your foreign and U.S. employees, never threaten your employees into doing anything and to keep and maintain accurate records.

Categories
Immigration Compliance

E-Verify Employer Found Liable for 129 Form I-9 Violations

Golf International DBA Desert Canyon Golf, an E-Verify employer, was found liable for 129 Form I-9 violations by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Office (OCAHO).  This included 125 violations consisting of failure to ensure that employees properly completed Section 1 of Form I-9 and/or failure to properly completing Section of Form I-9 and four violations consisting of failure to prepare and/or present Forms I-9.  The total fine was $136,697.00.  In its decision, OCAHO made it clear that the good faith defense is only available for technical and procedural Form I-9 violations and that participation in E-Verify DOES NOT exempt an employer from properly completing, retaining and producing for inspection Forms I-9 that relate to its employees.  This is a good reminder that all employers should audit their Forms I-9 and review any internal procedures regarding the proper completion and retention of their Forms I-9 on a regular basis.  Remember – An employer’s first and most important responsibility is to properly complete a Form I-9 for each new employee regardless of whether or not they use E-Verify.

Categories
US Immigration Policy

Senate CIR Update

The Senate is expected to begin debating the CIR bill on June 10th. A full version of the bill with mark-ups and the latest amendments (1922 pages long) can be found here. Senator Schumer is predicting that the Senate will pass a bill by July 4th and that it will enjoy bi-partisan support, with at least a 70-30 margin.

Categories
US Immigration Policy

Immigrants help drive job growth !

In spite of claims by protectionists (read Senator Grassley), the facts support a claim that immigrants contribute in a major way to US job growth. The NFAP released a recent study touting said facts. Now if only my copy to Senator Grassley’s staff would be read instead of being used as litter box filler, maybe we could see some rational pro business, pro job growth immigration bills get  fair  consideration.

Categories
Green Cards

HLG launches new web-site

Check out the new HLG web-site.  We are excited about this new site which provides up to date information about our firm as well as numerous resources which we believe you may find useful including: a log-in to check the status of your pending case, step by step guides, checklists, an event calendar and various other items of interest. And, where else can you find a site that contains quotes from such a diverse group as Bono, Bob Marley, Mother Theresa, and FDR.