Tag Archives: ICE

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

OSC Issues Updated Guidance on Internal I-9 Audits and Determining Validity of Documentation Provided

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) issued an updated Technical Assistance Letter (TAL) on Jan. 7, 2016, relating to an employer’s internal Form I-9 audit procedures. The TAL addresses: 1) an employer’s obligation to prevent discrimination in compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA);  … Continue Reading

Intra-agency Initiative Produces Guidance on Internal I-9 Audits, Worker Protections

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) teamed up to address common questions that arise when employers conduct internal reviews of their Forms I-9. The guidance is intended to help employers conduct their audits properly, and ensure they do not discriminate against … Continue Reading

OCAHO Clarifies Meaning of “Independent Contractor,” Rejects ICE Interpretation of “Employee” for Form I-9 Compliance

On August 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) issued a decision clarifying the standard for “independent contractor” and rejecting ICE’s interpretation of “employee.” The case involved a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) complaint against a respondent who failed to present … 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 Seeks Comments on F-1 ‘Pathway Programs’

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued draft guidance (1210-03) that is of particular note to colleges and universities enrolling foreign students into “pathway programs”.  The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is currently requesting comments from the public on guidance addressing the certification of a school’s pathway program … 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

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

ICE Announces Deployment of SEVP Field Representatives to Certified Schools

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (“SEVP”) unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is responsible for approval and oversight to schools authorized to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students. SEVP provides guidance to both schools and students about the requirements for maintenance of their status, and ensures that government agencies have essential data related … 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

Finish Up Your Spring Cleaning: Review Your Forms I-9

A recent decision from the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (OCAHO) serves as a good reminder to make sure your company’s Forms I-9 are in order. In U.S. v Anodizing Industries, Inc., the OCAHO reviewed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) complaint that a Los Angeles metal finishing factory had violated 8 USC §1324a(a)(1)(B) … Continue Reading

Washington State Considers Two-Tiered Driver’s License System

The races for governor and attorney general in Washington State, one of only two states in the nation that do not require proof of legal U.S. residency to apply for a driver's license, have underscored a proposal to create a two-tiered system mirroring the Utah model - which extends driving permits to immigrants who cannot prove legal U.S. residency but does not allow this document to serve as proof of valid identification.… Continue Reading

DOJ Announces Settlement with Specialty Food Company Over Discriminatory Document Practices

On July 20, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement agreement with United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) over allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by impermissibly re-verifying the work authorization of legal permanent residents and requiring certain non-citizen workers to present specific documentation during the Form I-9 completion process.… Continue Reading
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