Tag Archives: I-9 Forms

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Issues Guidance on SB 60 Drivers Licenses

4 Jun

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on May 19, 2015 posted on its website guidance for employers of employees who present a driver’s license issued by a state to persons who cannot submit satisfactory proof of legal presence in the United States. In sum, the guidance states that such a license:
• Must be accepted in the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process as a List B document establishing identity if it otherwise meets the requirements of a List B document (i.e., it contains a photo of or information identifying the individual presenting it) and the employer determines it reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to that individual.
• Does not, in and of itself, support a conclusion that the employer had actual or constructive knowledge (i.e., knew or should have known) that the employee presenting it is not employment authorized (if that is in fact the case).
In addition, the guidance notes that:
• An employer accepting such a license as a List B identity document in the Form I-9 process must (as for all types of List B documents) also examine a List C document establishing the individual’s employment authorization.
• Under a regulation of the Department of Homeland Security, which houses USCIS, whether an employer is considered to have actual or constructive knowledge that an employee lacks employment authorization is determined on a case-by-case basis and depends upon all of the facts and variables specific to the individual case.
The last point above is made in the context of the federal ban against employing or continuing to employ an employee with knowledge that the employee is not eligible to be employed in the U.S. The DHS regulation noted above states that a “knowing hire” violation can be based on either actual knowledge or constructive knowledge of unlawful status. Constructive knowledge is knowledge that may be fairly inferred through notice of certain facts and circumstances that would lead a person, through the exercise of reasonable care, to know about a certain condition.
The omission from the guidance of any statement that an employer must do anything other than accept such a license as a List B identity document in the Form I-9 process indicates the federal government does not expect an employer to inquire into why an employee claiming employment eligibility has such a license—at least where the employer has no other reason to doubt the employee’s claim.

Correction: New Effective Date for Form I-9

17 Apr

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the revised Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9, and published a notice in the Federal Register.

In the initial announcement, USCIS described when employers can no longer use prior versions of Form I-9. USCIS incorrectly described the effective date as being after May 7, 2013.

USCIS published a correction notice in the Federal Register. This notice corrects the error and clarifies that beginning May 7, 2013, employers may no longer use prior versions of the Form I-9.
The new form bears a revision date of 03/08/13.
According to USCIS, “although employers should begin using the 03/08/13 dated form right away, older forms dated 02/02/09 and 08/07/09 will be accepted until May 7, 2013. Beginning May 7, 2013, only the 03/08/13 will be accepted. The revision date is on the lower left corner of the form.”

Get Your I-9 Records in Shape -Audits and Enforcement Will Continue As Congress Debates Immigration Reform

9 Feb

If you thought you could relax your effort to maintain complete and accurate I-9 employee records because Congress will possibly pass immigration reform, think again. Are you aware that the U.S. Government spends more money on immigration enforcement than all other law enforcement combined?
A recent nonpartisan report from the Migration Policy Institute notes that the federal government spent $18 billion on immigration-related enforcement programs, an amount far greater than the combined budgets of the FBI, ATF, DEA and Secret Service (in fact, nearly $4 billion more). According to the report, “judging by resource levels, case volumes, and enforcement actions . . . immigration enforcement can thus be seen to rank as the federal government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority.”
In addition, resources spent by other agencies involved in immigration-related enforcement are not included in the $18 billion figure (for example, U.S. Customs & Immigration Service, Dept. of Labor, and Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel, not to mention state resources directed to immigration-related enforcement). There is no question that there has been a significant increase in immigration enforcement in recent years. Between 2005 and 2012, ICE’s funding alone increased from $3 billion to nearly $6 billion. There is also no question that the level of immigration enforcement seen in recent years will only continue. Employers should continue using the Form I-9 currently available on the forms section of http://www.uscis.gov. This form should continue to be used even after the OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012 has passed. USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of the Form I-9 as it becomes available.
Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly-hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.
Civil fines for form I-9 violations can range from $110 to $16,000 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving higher penalties.
You can keep up to date with I-9 requirements at Customs & Immigration Service’s I-9 Central
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=84c267ee5cb38210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=84c267ee5cb38210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Department of Homeland Security and ICE have stated they plan to continue if not increase aggressive enforcement against employers.