Employment expert explains how businesses can stay on the right side of immigration law
Last week, immigration officials descended on almost 100 7-Eleven stores in 17 states. They carried notices requiring owners of these establishments to produce hiring records for their employees within 3 days.
“These employment audits are part of President Donald Trump’s commitment to changing the face of immigration policy in this country,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “Businesses need to realize that this administration is taking immigration records very seriously, and if they fail to produce the proper paperwork when questioned, they could face fines or even criminal charges.”
Wilson says that states like California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas should be on special alert, as it is known that these are the states with the highest number of undocumented workers.
“President Trump is going to start by cracking down in places that are known to have a history of undocumented workers,” says Wilson. “And, he’s going to be tough on employers. Unlike past administrations which focused more on the workers themselves, Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, promises a significant increase on work-site raids and he says that they will prosecute those who knowingly hire undocumented workers.”
The employment trends expert says that there are several things companies need to do in order to ensure that their businesses are “ICE-proof”:
- The most important step is to ensure that Forms I-9 are properly created when a worker is first hired. Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and ability of people to work in the United States. Staff should receive training to learn how to legally complete the form, inspect the person’s documents (e.g., driver’s license), and answer employee questions.
- Employers should also periodically coordinate Form I-9 self-audits to be conducted by a neutral and knowledgeable employee or vendor who is not part of the regular process. These audits will surface deficiencies with the actual Forms I-9 or the process itself. If problems are discovered, the staff may need additional training.
- To complete the preparation, companies should also create inspection and raid day plans. Everyone from the receptionist to the HR personnel to the CEO should be ready for possible scenarios where ICE presents a criminal search warrant, administrative arrest warrant, or inspection notice. In some circumstances, the company can deny ICE immediate access to their private property and Forms I-9.
For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.