Staying Compliant with New Efforts to Crack Down on Illegal Employees

Per an article dated May 4, 2009, written by Bill Leonard, Senior Writer for SHRM Online (Society for Human Resource Management), Federal Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will concentrate on building cases against businesses that are suspected of hiring undocumented immigrants before they raid workplaces and round up any illegal workers.

Mary Pivec, a partner with Keller Heckman, LLP in Washington, D.C., said that “ICE’s new enforcement guidelines should be a wake-up call for employers and that businesses need to review their hiring and documentation review policies and procedures carefully.”

A fact sheet has been posted on the agency’s website outlining the new enforcement guidelines.  The fact sheet makes it clear that the agency will continue to arrest and process for ejection any undocumented workers identified during worksite investigations.  The key change is that their focused effort will be on prosecuting employers who willingly hire illegal workers.  The prosecution could include no only business owners, but also Supervisors and Managers guilty of knowingly hiring undocumented workers.

The best course of action for employers is to ensure that they have an I-9 and legitimate supporting documentation to prove all employees are legally eligible to work in the United States.

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