Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama Changing Enforcement of Immigration Laws?

I hope employers saw the news on this but if not take a look at Jackson Lewis' ICE Sends Over 650 Employers I-9 Audit Notices in Nationwide Immigration Enforcement Initiative

Six hundred fifty-two employers throughout the country are receiving I-9 Notice of Inspections (NOIs) from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit, the Government has announced. ICE is the federal agency responsible for investigating employers for immigration worksite violations. The NOIs require employers to provide copies to ICE of all of their employee Form I-9s and supporting documents by a specified date. In most instances, however, employers are given only three business days to present their records to the local ICE office.

In announcing the initiative, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton emphasized ICE’s commitment to worksite enforcement. He said the audits were “a first step in ICE’s long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment.” ICE noted that the employers were selected for inspection as a result of “leads and information obtained through other investigative means.” The 652 NOIs exceed the total number of NOIs issued by ICE in all of Fiscal Year 2008. ICE declined to identify the companies receiving these notices on account of the “ongoing, law enforcement sensitive nature of these audits.”
On this same subject is Work-Site Enforcement Official Wants to Work With Employers:
John Morton, assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Department of Homeland Security, reiterated in a speech Tuesday, June 16, in Arlington, Virginia, the administration’s policy of pursuing criminal prosecutions against employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.

But Morton, who has been on the job for four weeks, also said that he wants to work with companies that are fastidious about compliance.

“I want employers to view ICE as a true partner to find ways to stay within the law,” he said in a speech at an American Council on International Personnel conference. “As we move forward, I hope we have a much better relationship.”

A source of tension between employers and the Department of Homeland Security is an electronic employment verification system called E-Verify. About 128,000 employers have voluntarily signed up to use the mechanism, which checks new-hire information against DHS and Social Security databases.