Category Archives: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces the Rescission of DACA

On Sept. 5, 2017, Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  DACA is a mode of temporary relief given to children (now college-aged or older) who entered the United States without inspection with their parents and allowed them to apply for temporary work … Continue Reading

DHS Releases Memoranda Outlining Immigration Enforcement Priorities

John Kelly, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued two memoranda on Feb. 20, 2017 outlining the Department’s plans for immigration enforcement under President Trump’s administration: “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” and “Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies.” Both memoranda implement and provide further … Continue Reading

Immigration Raids and What They Mean for U.S. Businesses

On Jan. 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” This order lays out the president’s plan for enforcing immigration laws, including, among other initiatives, increasing and expediting the deportation of removable aliens from the United States.  Specifically, the order prioritizes for … Continue Reading

Employer’s Use of E-verify is Not a Substitute for Completing I-9 Forms, Fined More Than $200K in Civil Penalties

In the Final Decision and Order dated April 27, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Ellen K. Thomas ordered Golden Employment Group, Inc. (Golden Employment), a staffing and temporary-employment company, to pay $209,600 in civil penalties for 465 Form I-9 violations. Golden Employment, which receives between 2,000 and 3,000 applications each year and has more than 20,000 … Continue Reading

The New STEM OPT Program: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The new STEM OPT program became effective on May 10, 2016, and represents a complete overhaul of how this program has operated since 2008.  For the uninitiated, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics; and OPT stands for Optional Practical Training.  As previously reported, F-1 students with qualifying STEM degrees are now eligible for … 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

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

ICE Increases its Enrollment in IMAGE by 12.5% in One Day!

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) announced that it has signed up 25 Puerto Rican companies to its IMAGE system, increasing the total number of companies enrolled in its program to approximately 225 employers. This represents a 12.5% increase in enrollment for a federal program that had not previously gained much traction with US employers. … Continue Reading

Where do Social Security Payments Made by Undocumented Workers Go?

Many employers are familiar with the following scenario: You hire someone, put them on payroll and deduct taxes from their checks automatically – just like you do with all employees. You then find out through an audit by U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) or by the employee coming clean that he or she is … Continue Reading

ICE Fines Luxury Hotel $1.9 Million for Undocumented Workers

Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) announced yesterday that a Salt Lake City-based hotel was fined $1.9 million in connection with hiring undocumented workers. This case involved an alleged conspiracy between lower-level employees and mid-level managers to hire undocumented workers intentionally by creating temporary employment agencies to rehire 43 undocumented workers. The conspiracy was identified by … Continue Reading

Heavy delays expected with Indian visa processing

All Indian consulates in the United States are changing their visa service contractor, so applicants for Indian visas should expect significant delays in May and June 2014. Advance planning is strongly recommended by anyone seeking an Employment Visa (EV) or a Business Visa (BV) to India. Earlier this month, the Embassy of India in the … Continue Reading

Hunger Strike at Washington Detention Center Sparks The President’s Interest

On March 7, 2014, 750 of the 1300 detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington went on a hunger strike. The strike turned attention to the United States immigration detention and deportation policies. Paulino Ruiz, the detainee who ignited the hunger strike, was sick of eating boiled potatoes at every meal, receiving harsh … 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

Immigration Event: ‘After Infosys: Are You Compliant?’ Webinar

Following the record-setting Infosys settlement of 2013, the government is turning a careful eye to Information Technology service providers in I-9, H-1B and other areas of visa and immigration compliance. While this increased scrutiny is focused on IT service providers, there are instances where companies may assume liability for the actions of their vendors. This … Continue Reading

Ali Brodie Presents at Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA) Annual Conference and Trade Show

This week, attorney Ali Brodie spoke at the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA) Annual Conference and Trade Show on “Immigration Update, Intro to EB-5 & Tips on Keeping ICE off your Tailgate”. The conference focused on the economy of Colorado and boasted more than 500 in attendance with speakers and representatives from a wide … 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

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

DOJ Announces Settlement Agreement to Resolve Anti-Discrimination Claim Arising from the Improper Verification of Lawful Permanent Resident Status

On April 9, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement agreement with Milestone Management Company (“Milestone”), a residential property management firm based in Dallas, to resolve claims that the company had violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Department initiated an investigation into Milestone’s employment verification practices based … Continue Reading

Updated Immigration Bill Seeks to Maintain E-Verify During Transition Period

On April 30, 2013, the bipartisan group of senators who recently introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill submitted an updated version of the landmark legislation in response to concerns about the status of E-Verify in states that already require its use. The proposed Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, which the … Continue Reading

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill Includes Landmark Program for Low and Lesser-Skilled Workers

One of the major developments included in the comprehensive immigration reform package proposed by a bipartisan group of senators last month is the introduction of a new W Visa for low and lesser-skilled workers. The new program, which is slated to begin in April 2015, would allow pre-registered employers to hire a certain numbers of … Continue Reading

“Gang of Eight” Senators Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

On April 17th, the group of Senators known as the “Gang of Eight” introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, a comprehensive immigration reform bill, in the U.S. Senate. This bipartisan measure includes significant and wide-ranging changes to the nation’s current immigration system, including a path to citizenship for undocumented … Continue Reading

Business Groups Applaud Expected Compromise on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC)*, a coalition of businesses, trade associations, and other industry organizations concerned with the shortage of lesser skilled and unskilled labor, and the TechServe Alliance, an industry group that represents IT & engineering interests before the U.S. Congress and other policymakers, have recently released statements applauding the bipartisan effort to … Continue Reading

Delegation from Texas Meets with Senate and Congressional Offices on Immigration Reform

On Thursday, April 11th, a delegation of 15 members of the Texas Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) met with the offices of Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and the offices of Texas Congressional Representatives regarding much-needed reform to our immigration system. The meetings, which were part of AILA’s National Day of Action … Continue Reading

USCIS Suspends Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions Pending Agency Response to Court Order

On April 2, 2013, the USCIS announced that it will temporarily suspend the adjudication of certain Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers as the federal government considers its response to the Court order entered in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas el al. v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). The Court ruling granted … Continue Reading
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