What Businesses Must Know About Immigration Today


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What Businesses Must Know About Immigration Today

  1. 1. What Businesses Must Know About Immigration Today HR Strategies To Survive Government Scrutiny Presented by Ann Massey Badmus
  2. 3. Immigrant Demographics <ul><li>Approximately 33.5 million foreign-born people live in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>The foreign born represent 11.7 percent of the U.S. population. </li></ul>Source: Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003 US Census Bureau
  3. 4. Immigrant Demographics <ul><li>Foreign born workers are 15.3% of the labor force and represent 44.6% of the 2.7 million increase in employment from 2005 to 2006 </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In 2005, foreign born students obtained 41% of doctoral degrees in sciences and engineering </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NSF, Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards 2005, Table 3 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Government Oversight <ul><li>Look Who’s Watching </li></ul>
  5. 6. Department of Homeland Security <ul><li>U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) www.uscis.gov - immigration benefits and services </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – www.cbp.gov – border patrol and international travel facilitation </li></ul>
  6. 7. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement <ul><li>Investigates employers for compliance with employment employer verification rules and removes undocumented aliens from the United States </li></ul>www.ice.gov
  7. 8. U.S. Department of Labor <ul><li>Investigates employer verification compliance, visa compliance, violation of worker rules </li></ul><ul><li>www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov </li></ul>
  8. 9. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel (OSC) <ul><li>www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc / </li></ul><ul><li>Investigates and prosecutes charges of immigration-related unfair employment practices </li></ul>
  9. 10. States of the Union <ul><li>1000s of pieces of immigration legislation introduced around the country since 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 20 states now impose their own immigration rules on Employers. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Focus on Employers <ul><li>ICE will focus its resources in the worksite enforcement program on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration. ICE will continue to arrest and process for removal any illegal workers who are found in the course of these worksite enforcement actions in a manner consistent with immigration law and DHS priorities. Furthermore, ICE will use all available civil and administrative tools, including civil fines and debarment, to penalize and deter illegal employment. </li></ul><ul><li>- DHS Secretary Napolitano </li></ul><ul><li> April 2009 </li></ul>
  11. 12. Immigration Enforcement Today <ul><li>7/1/09 ICE announces audit of 652 businesses </li></ul><ul><li>7/7/09 Krispy Kreme fined $40K </li></ul><ul><li>7/8/09 E-Verify FAR rule confirmed </li></ul><ul><li>9/8/09 E-Verify FAR rule applied </li></ul><ul><li>10/7/09 Social Security No-Match Rule rescinded </li></ul><ul><li>10/20/09 E-Verify program extended </li></ul>
  12. 13. Employment Verification Rule <ul><li>All employers must verify employment eligibility of new employees using the I-9 Form </li></ul><ul><li>Employer must not knowingly hire or continue to hire unauthorized workers. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Constructive Knowledge <ul><li>Defined as “knowledge which may fairly be inferred through notice of certain facts and circumstances which would lead a person, through exercise of reasonable care , to know about a certain condition.” </li></ul><ul><li>8 C.F.R. §274a(1)(l) </li></ul>
  14. 15. Constructive Knowledge <ul><ul><li>Failure to fill out I-9 form or to complete correctly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to re-verify form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information that an employee is not authorized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to reconcile conflicting information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire contractors that you know uses unauthorized workers </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Social Security No-Match Letter <ul><li>Receipt of letter is not automatic notice that employee is unauthorized </li></ul><ul><li>Consider totality of circumstances – No “Safe Harbor” rule </li></ul>
  16. 17. E-Verify <ul><li>Web-based formerly known as “Basic Pilot Employment Verification Program” </li></ul><ul><li>USCIS and Social Security Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary participation – for some employers </li></ul>
  17. 18. E-Verify Required <ul><li>Federal agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Federal contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Certain State agencies and private employers </li></ul><ul><li>Companies located in states that require E-Verify </li></ul><ul><li>Employers of STEM F-1 students seeking OPT extension </li></ul>
  18. 19. Anti-Discrimination Rules <ul><li>Unequal treatment because of citizenship or immigration status </li></ul><ul><li>Unequal treatment because of nationality, which includes place of birth, appearance, accent and language </li></ul><ul><li>Asking for specific documents from employee, such as “Green Card” </li></ul><ul><li>Verifying some people’s documents and not others </li></ul><ul><li>Having a citizen-only hiring policy </li></ul>
  19. 20. Anti-Discrimination Rules <ul><li>National origin discrimination cases on the rise </li></ul><ul><li>Title VII and the other antidiscrimination laws prohibit discrimination against individuals employed in the United States, regardless of citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>In Fiscal Year 2008, EEOC received 10,601 charges of national origin discrimination. Including charges from previous years, 8,498 charges were resolved, and monetary benefits for charging parties totaled $25.4 million (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation) </li></ul>
  20. 21. Costs of Non-compliance
  21. 22. Fines/Penalties for I-9 and Unauthorized Employment Offenses <ul><li>I-9 technical violations - $110 to $1110 each </li></ul><ul><li>Unauthorized employment offenses occurring on </li></ul><ul><li>or after March 27, 2008 - </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$375 to $3200 – 1st offense </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$3200 to $6500 – 2nd offense </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$4300 to $16000 – more than 2 offenses </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Fines/Penalties for I-9 and Unauthorized Employment Offenses <ul><li>To determine the amount of the penalty, ICE considers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The size of the business of the employer being charged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The good faith of the employer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The seriousness of the violation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether or not the individual was an unauthorized alien </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The history of previous violations of the employer </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Good Faith Defense <ul><li>If you can show that you have, in good faith, complied with Form I-9 requirements, then you have established a “good faith” defense with respect to a charge of knowingly hiring an unauthorized alien, unless the government can show that you had actual knowledge of the unauthorized status of the employee. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Criminal Penalties <ul><li>Knowingly hire or continue to employment unauthorized worker – fines up to $3000 per employee and/or 6 months imprisonment </li></ul><ul><li>False statements, misusing visas & identity documents – fines and/or penalties up to 5 years imprisonment </li></ul><ul><li>Harboring alien – up to 5 years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines </li></ul>
  25. 26. Criminal Charges - Who Can Be Charged ? <ul><li>Business Owners </li></ul><ul><li>Plant Managers & Supervisors </li></ul><ul><li>HR Personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Union Stewards </li></ul><ul><li>Intermediate and Senior Executives </li></ul>
  26. 28. Anti-Discrimination Violations Fines and Penalties <ul><ul><li>$110 to $16000 depending upon the violation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back pay (no more than 2 years before claim was filed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire or re-hire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attorneys Fees </li></ul></ul>
  27. 29. Immigration Best Practices for Businesses <ul><li>Develop a Culture of Compliance </li></ul>
  28. 30. Immigration Compliance Plan <ul><li>Written procedures and policies </li></ul><ul><li>Training and Supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Contractor compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidation of multiple locations </li></ul>
  29. 31. Immigration Compliance Plan <ul><li>Secure and consolidate records </li></ul><ul><li>E-Verify </li></ul><ul><li>Social Security no-match letters </li></ul><ul><li>Internal investigations </li></ul>
  30. 32. Annual I-9 Self-Audits <ul><li>Prepare for government audit </li></ul><ul><li>Identify errors for correction </li></ul><ul><li>Identify training issues </li></ul><ul><li>Test your system </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate good faith compliance and avoid fines/penalties </li></ul>
  31. 33. Post-Audit Procedures <ul><li>Conduct Training </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure Corrections are Made </li></ul><ul><li>Review Audit Report </li></ul><ul><li>Implement Procedural Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Store I-9 Audit Records </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain Ongoing Project Attitude </li></ul>
  32. 34. Scenario: Audit Results <ul><li>200 I-9 forms </li></ul><ul><li>10% error rate = 20 deficient forms </li></ul><ul><li>$800 typical fine x 20 = $16000 fines </li></ul><ul><li>I-9 Self Audit with Attorney Certification </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. $2000 </li></ul><ul><li>$16000 - $2000 = $14000 saved </li></ul>
  33. 35. Response Plan for Government Audits and Enforcement Actions (RAIDS) <ul><li>Training of Employees </li></ul><ul><li>Designation of Company Point of Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Immigration Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Defense Attorney </li></ul>
  34. 36. Q & A
  35. 37. <ul><li>&quot; Immigration law is a mystery and a mastery of obfuscation, and the lawyers who can figure it out are worth their weight in gold.&quot; - USCIS spokeswoman Karen Kraushaar </li></ul>
  36. 38. Immigration Counsel <ul><li>Develop written compliance plans and audit safeguards </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct compliance audits and certifications </li></ul><ul><li>Develop contractor compliance and termination policies </li></ul>
  37. 39. Immigration Counsel <ul><li>Conduct training and reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Advise before immigration-related hiring or firing </li></ul><ul><li>Defend against enforcement actions </li></ul><ul><li>Keep you updated on changing rules </li></ul>
  38. 40. Three Key Steps to Reduce Your Risks <ul><li>Evaluate the strength of your current compliance process </li></ul><ul><li>Educate yourself on I-9 self-audit procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct I-9 self-audit and obtain certification from an immigration attorney </li></ul>
  39. 41. Legal Notice Facts of individual situations differ. The information provided here is general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific situations. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure compliance.
  40. 42. Thank You <ul><li>This information is provided as an educational service by Badmus Law Firm. If you have questions or comments about immigration rules for employers, you’re invited to contact attorney Ann Massey Badmus at 469-916-7900 ext. 202, annbadmus@badmuslaw.com . </li></ul>