Most employers are well aware that they are responsible for the completion of Forms I-9 for their own employees. What companies should also consider is that U.S. Immigration and CustomsContinue Reading I-9 Compliance Redefined: Avoiding Pitfalls Involving Vendors and Contractors
On June 9, 2021, USCIS issued three new Policy Alerts in the USCIS Policy Manual. These updates support Executive Order (EO) 14012, “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems…
Continue Reading USCIS Updates Policies to Improve Immigration Services
DHS has extended its I-9 flexibility provisions repeatedly since March 2020, and recently extended them once again until August 31, 2021. However, employers should start planning now for how they…
Continue Reading Preparing for the End of the Form I-9 Flexibility Provisions and the Return of Compliance Enforcement
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has many roles. One includes working with universities and other educational institutions to ensure compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Regulations and Policies. The…
Continue Reading ICE Oversight of US Universities, Educational Institutions and Vocational Programs through the SEVP
With the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S., employers have had to face unprecedented issues impacting continued business operations. As time passes, some employers in those…
Continue Reading COVID-19 Immigration Considerations for Employers
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
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.