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ICE Is Turning the Heat Up

12th April 2010
By Ann Allott in Employment Law
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ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) intensified its nationwide
push to dramatically increase efforts to combat unlawful employment of illegal aliens. On March 11th, ICE arrested 29 undocumented workers at two Maryland restaurants.

According to William Winter, ICE special agent in charge of Baltimore, "Today's enforcement action is part of a multi-phased approach utilized by ICE to ensure that employers are held accountable for maintaining a legal workforce. ICE is committed to investigating employers who engage in illegal employment schemes that utilize illegal labor to make an unlawful profit and give them an unfair advantage over businesses that operate lawfully."

There is no time like the present to adopt "best practices" to protect your company. Here is a partial list of actions employers should implement.

• Review your Form I-9 records NOW: Detect any errors on forms for
current employees; know the most common mistakes.
• Correct Form I-9s: Correct old forms with errors.
• 3rd Party Form I-9 Audit: A comprehensive 3rd party audit of your I-9 records will help determine if your Form I-9 procedures meet federal standards.

• Document Requirements: Know which ID/employment eligibility
documents are acceptable and which are not. For example - Do NOT
accept a U.S. passport that does not have a cover.
• Employment Verification Systems: Use E-Verify or Social Security number verification systems for employment authorization.

Employers Should Develop a Hiring Protocol

1. Form I-9: New hires should complete the Form I-9 and provide
employment eligibility documents AFTER the decision to hire is made and BEFORE the first day of work.
2. Start Date: Under no circumstances should new hires start work or be placed on the payroll prior to completing Form I-9 and providing acceptable documents.
3. Three Business Days: Hiring manager should fully complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 within 3 business days of the hire.
4. E-Verify: Copies of the Form I-9 and supporting documents should immediately be entered in E-Verify, the Internet-based, U.S. government employment verification system.

Allott's SMART TIP: Avoid Discrimination Claims

Before Hiring: A prospect should not complete the Form I-9 before the
hiring decision because an employer who chooses not to hire an individual may be accused of discrimination based on data received on the form.

BE PROACTIVE. Do not take a "head in the sand" approach to Form I-9
compliance. In the event of an ICE inspection you want to be prepared.

For information about employer representation for Form I-9 investigations, Form I-9 compliance or any immigration matter, please contact Allott Immigration Law Firm at 303-797-8055. Visit our website at
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