Category Archives: Form I-9

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California Event Design and Production Company Fined $605,000 for Over 800 I-9 Violations

Earlier this month, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for OCAHO ordered Hartmann Studios, Inc., an event design and production company based in Richmond, California to pay civil money penalties totaling $605,250 based on 808 I-9 paperwork violations.  The vast majority of violations involved the company’s failure to sign section 2 of the I-9 forms.  The … Continue Reading

USCIS and OSC Make Some Important I-9 Announcements: “Smart” Online I-9, Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Workers, Honesty Policies

In a recent symposium sponsored by the Council for Global Migration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), made the following note-worthy announcements and/or classification: The USCIS will soon release a “smart” online I-9 form to assist employers in completing the forms correctly. … Continue Reading

I-9 Alert: Department of Justice Settles Immigration Discrimination Claims with Three Memphis Area Staffing Firms

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently entered into a settlement agreement with three staffing companies in the Memphis, Tennessee area. DOJ’s investigation discovered that each of the companies rejected the employment of two qualified individuals based on them being born in Puerto Rico. Specifically, the employers refused to accept each individual’s valid Puerto Rican … Continue Reading

ICE Issues Record Fine of $2.25 Million

On June 4, 2015, ICE reminded employers across the country of the I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements and the consequences for violations when it issued a fine against Broetje Orchards in Washington state for employing close to 1,000 unauthorized workers.  The matter involving Broetje Orchards has been ongoing for several years, after the company was … Continue Reading

Record OCS Settlement for Immigration Discrimination and OCAHO Punishes Company for Backdating I-9s

Compliance with the I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements continues to be a challenge to many employers, with potentially serious consequences for violations, as two recent cases show. On February 24, 2015, the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (“OCAHO”) found that Liberty Packaging, Inc. … Continue Reading

I-9 Update: Department of Homeland Security Extends TPS for El Salvador

In the most recent publication of the Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced El Salvador’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is being extended for 18 months, from March 10, 2015, through Sept. 9, 2016. The extension allows eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through Sept. 9, 2016, so long as they … Continue Reading

Hiring Undocumented Workers May Cost Companies Their Healthcare Plans

Employers concerned about incurring fines or criminal liability for hiring undocumented workers now face a new challenge: large healthcare payouts and contract litigation when stop loss carriers refuse to honor claims arising from an undocumented employee’s policy. In a recent case before a U.S. District California Court, a small business sued its stop-loss carrier to … Continue Reading

A New Judge is in Town to Rule on I-9 Violation Penalties

Last week Stacy Stiffel Paddack was announced as the newest Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO). Judge Paddack will rule on the proper penalty in immigration compliance (Form I-9 violations) cases brought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Welcome aboard, Judge Paddack. The statutory range for … Continue Reading

BIA finds a Form I-9 is Admissible in Immigration Proceedings, Supports Charges of Removability

In immigration law a distinction is made between inadmissibility and removability. There are some actions that can render an individual inadmissible (i.e., not eligible to enter the United States), some actions that can render an individual removable (i.e., eligible to be removed from the United States after being admitted to the country), and some actions … Continue Reading

Form I-9 Widget Available for Download

Employers can now complete the I-9 Form using a new Desktop Widget that can be downloaded and saved onto desktops. The widget makes it easier and faster to complete the Form I-9.  With one click, employers will be taken to an online, fillable Form I-9. USCIS offered this widget to make the form more easily … Continue Reading

OSC Guidance on I-9 Self-Audits

Employers as a best practice should conduct regular self-audits of their I-9s to ensure the forms are completed properly. When, if ever, can an employer, during a self-audit, request to see the documents that were presented by the employee at the time the I-9 was initially completed?  The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special … Continue Reading

OSC Settles Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Claim Against Major Airline

For a second time in a week, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) announced it had reached a settlement with a company for immigration discrimination involving I-9 document abuse.  The second of its settlements stemmed from wrongdoing by a major airline. OSC’s investigation was initiated based … Continue Reading

OSC Guidance on I-9 Over-Documentation

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) enforces the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law prohibits, among other things, document abuse during the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. Employers as a best practice should conduct regular self-audits of their I-9s to … Continue Reading

Tips for Resolving Issues I-94 Issues under the Electronic CBP System

CBP has automated the I-94 and I-94W process for all travelers applying for admission at U.S. ports of entry. Consequently, nonimmigrants arriving at an air or sea U.S. Port of Entry no longer receive a paper I-94 card from the CBP inspector. CBP provides each nonimmigrant with an admission stamp that is annotated with date … Continue Reading

GT to Present “Onboarding: Hiring Foreign Nationals” Webinar

The GT Business Immigration & Compliance Practice invites you to attend our “Onboarding: Hiring Foreign Nationals” webinar on Tuesday, December 12, 2013 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET featuring GT attorneys Nataliya Binshteyn, Ali Brodie and Rebecca Schechter. In today’s global marketplace, many companies are recruiting skilled foreign nationals to join their workforce. While this … Continue Reading

Record-Setting Settlement Against Tech Giant Accused of Misusing B Visas Also Reveals Systematic Form I-9 Violations

As previously reported on October 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently announced a record-setting fine against Infosys, a leading India-based technology, consulting and outsourcing company and one of the largest employers of H-1B visa holders, for misusing the B visa program to unlawfully employ foreign national … Continue Reading

E-Verify Resumes Post-Shutdown Operations; Other Services Remain Closed as Focus Shifts to Immigration Reform

On October 17, 2013, E-Verify resumed operations after being shuttered during the 16-day federal government shutdown, which ended with a last-minute Congressional vote to reopen the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling limit. However, at the time of this writing, the U.S. Department of Labor’s iCert portal, which processes required Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) … Continue Reading

Reminder from OSC – Don’t Reverify Permanent Residents!

Normally, when an employee’s work authorization document is expiring, an employer must reverify the employee’s work authorization for Form I-9 purposes. There are two exceptions to the re-verification requirement: an expired U.S. passport and an expired Permanent Resident Card. In a recent Technical Assistance Letter dated September 5, 2013, the Department of Justice’s Office of … Continue Reading

E-Verify Introduces System Enhancement for Navigating Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) Process

Beginning on September 9, 2013, E-Verify users who directly access the program through employer accounts will encounter an enhanced procedure for navigating the Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) process. Specifically, the system will provide fewer screens for addressing a TNC, in part by merging the TNC Notification and Referral Letters into one, three-page document known as the … Continue Reading

Yet Another Strike Against Form I-9 Prepopulation

The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices has joined the growing chorus of government agencies speaking out against the practice of prepopulating Section 1 of Forms I-9. In a recent Technical Assistance Letter (TAL), the OSC discourages the use of prepopulation citing concerns about Section 1 containing inaccurate … Continue Reading

USCIS Introduces E-Verify Upgrade to Directly Notify Employees About TNCs

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced an E-Verify customer service enhancement that will allow employees to receive direct notification about Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs), which result from discrepancies between the data employees provide during the employment verification process and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) records. Under the … Continue Reading

Tips on Responding to a Notice of Inspection from ICE

When Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) decides to perform an audit of a company’s Employment Eligibility Verification forms (Form I-9), they will issue a Notice of Inspection (NOI). Providing a careful response to an NOI is critical as it lays the platform for communicating, negotiating, and oftentimes settling with ICE. Following the recent decision from … Continue Reading