As economies worldwide begin to re-open, some companies and individuals are thinking about resuming international travel. If international travel is required for your work or other reasons, be prepared for
In March 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued revised guidance on I-9 compliance in light of employer office closures around the country due to COVID-19. After extending this…
Continue Reading DHS Extends Guidance Relaxing Form I-9 Requirements until July 19
Of counsel Kristen Burke and Associate Sarah Amendola, attorneys in Greenberg Traurig’s Immigration and Compliance Practice, wrote an article published in Texas Lawyer titled “The Era of Tougher …
Continue Reading Greenberg Traurig’s Kristen Burke and Sarah Amendola’s Article on Immigration Enforcement Published in Texas Lawyer
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced a three-prong approach to ensuring U.S. employers are hiring legally authorized workers. ICE’s strategy focuses on:
- Compliance, through increased I-9 inspections, civil fines and referrals for debarment from immigration benefit programs like Labor Condition Applications and PERM Labor Certifications;
- Enforcement, through arrests of not only of workers employed without proper authorization but also of the employers who hire them; and
- Outreach, through the Ice Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program.
USCIS has begun issuing I-797A, Notice of Action Approval Notices containing inconsistent validity periods on the face of the document. Specifically, the top portion of the I-797A approval notices lists the approved visa classification (e.g., H-1B) and the authorized validity period of that visa classification (e.g., from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 11, 2020). The bottom portion of the approval notice, containing Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Records, now lists different validity periods – generally an additional 10 days of validity in comparison to the validity dates listed on the top of the approval notice (e.g., from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 21, 2020). This change in the approval notices is causing confusion for both employers and employees.
Continue Reading USCIS Approval Notices Cause Confusion due to Inconsistent Validity Periods
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) levied a historic $95 million settlement against a national tree company in connection with a six year investigation by ICE into the company’s hiring of undocumented workers and other immigration violations. This settlement represents the largest payment ever received in an immigration case. Moreover, it demonstrates ICE’s commitment to immigration enforcement and deterring U.S. employers from knowingly hiring undocumented workers.
Continue Reading U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Levies Record $95 Million Civil Settlement for Immigration Violations
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 authorization if they met certain criteria. This policy was established through an Executive Order issued June 2012 by the Obama Administration. Since then, DACA has undergone scrutiny and much debate, and with the change of administrations, it has been clear that this policy would change, if not end.
AG Jeff Sessions announced that DACA will end, with a wind-down process overseen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Effective immediately, the following will happen as per the recently released DHS memo:
- DHS will adjudicate, on a case by case basis, initial requests that have been accepted as of today (Sept. 5).
- After today (Sept. 5), DHS will reject all DACA first-time applications.
- DHS will adjudicate all properly-filed renewal applications as of today, and will continue to adjudicate applications for those whose benefits will expire by March 5, 2018. Those applications will only be accepted until Oct. 5, 2017. All other renewal requests will be rejected.
- Current approvals and valid employment authorization document (EAD) cards will not be revoked and will remain valid until the expiration dates.
- No new advance parole (AP) applications (an AP is permission to travel) will be accepted or approved and current/pending AP applications will be closed (fees refunded). Currently, valid Advance Parole will still be valid and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will retain the discretion to admit a person based on the AP.
- Discretion will be retained by DHS to terminate or deny deferred action at any time deemed appropriate.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not provide this information proactively to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP for enforcement proceedings, but this policy may be modified.
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…
Continue Reading Employer’s Use of E-verify is Not a Substitute for Completing I-9 Forms, Fined More Than $200K in Civil Penalties
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…
Continue Reading The New STEM OPT Program: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
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…
Continue Reading ICE Issues Record Fine of $2.25 Million