Category Archives: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Releases Comprehensive Worksite Enforcement Strategy

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 … Continue Reading

USCIS Approval Notices Cause Confusion due to Inconsistent Validity Periods

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 … Continue Reading

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Levies Record $95 Million Civil Settlement for Immigration Violations

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 … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to Implement Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices

Effective May 6, 2013, the immigration agency will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its local offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data (fingerprints and photographs), when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to defend against threats to national security and … Continue Reading

‘The Daily Caller’ Reports that Republicans may Introduce the ‘Achieve Act’ as an Alternative to the DREAM Act

The Daily Caller, a publication founded by conservative journalist Tucker Carlson, is reporting that Republicans may seek to introduce their alternative to the DREAM Act, which is being called the "Achieve Act." In his article, Matt K. Lewis reports that the Achieve Act contains multiple tiers, including the W-1 visa/nonimmigrant status.… Continue Reading
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