Tag Archives: illegal workers

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Forwarding E-Verify Legislation to Stop Employment of Unauthorized Workers

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog Writer

In an effort to stop the employment of unauthorized workers, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have introduced legislation for E-Verify, the web-based Employment Eligibility Verification System run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

E-Verify lets employers electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by comparing information provided by employees on the Employment Eligibility Verification form – or Form I-9 – against records in the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed two pieces of legislation – HB 1502 and HB 1503 – that requires certain employers in the state to use E-Verify.

  • HB 1502 would require all state contractors and subcontractors to verify the status of new employees with E-Verify.
  • HB 1503 – the “Construction Industry Employment Verification Act” – would require all construction industry employers (regardless of whether there is any state contract or public funds) to confirm employment eligibility of new employees through E-Verify.
  • In addition, employers relying in good faith on E-Verify would be immune from sanctions under the both proposed Pennsylvania bills.

Meanwhile, New Jersey is forwarding E-Verify legislation by introducing bills – S1842 and A2600 – that prohibit employment of unauthorized workers and require employers with 100 or more employees to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees with E-Verify by December 31, 2010. Smaller employers have until December 31, 2011.

  • S1842 and A2600 call for statewide random auditing as well as complaint-driven investigations.
  • S1842 and A2600 require that employers terminate unauthorized workers and the attorney general or county prosecutor shall notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as local law enforcement of any unauthorized aliens.
  • Sanctions include penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation and loss of business licenses – possibly permanent revocation – depending upon the offense.

Along with the legislation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, many other states require or will require employers to participate in E-Verify in some manner. Some states – such as Arizona, Mississippi, and Utah – require all employers in the state to participate in E-Verify, while other states require only public or state employers or those contracting with the state to use E-Verify.

For more information about the legislation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey – and the increased worksite enforcement through Form I-9 audits – read the article “Pa., N.J. Move Forward With E-Verify; Will Feds Follow?” on The Legal Intelligencer.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Sources:
Article: http://www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleLTN.jsp?id=1202464369090&Pa_NJ_Move_Forward_With_EVerify_Will_Feds_Follow
PA Bill House Bill 1502: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1502
PA House Bill 1503: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1503
NJ SENATE, No. 1842: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/S2000/1842_I1.PDF
NJ ASSEMBLY, No. 2600: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/A3000/2600_I1.PDF

ICE Levies Record $3 Million in Civil Fines on Employers Hiring Unauthorized Workers So Far in 2010

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR news Staff Writer

According to a report in the New York Times, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has levied a record $3 million in civil fines so far in 2010 on employers that hired unauthorized workers not legally eligible to work in the country.

Unlike the immigration raids and work-site roundups popular during the previous administration, the Times reports the Obama administration favors a quieter enforcement strategy that involves federal agents auditing a company’s employee records for illegal immigrant workers, which usually result in the illegal workers being fired by employers.

Over the past year, ICE has conducted audits of employee files — called “silent raids” by some employers — at more than 2,900 companies, the Times reports, and thousands of those workers have been fired, immigrant groups estimate. Although ICE leaves it up to employers to fire workers whose documents cannot be validated, the audits still force businesses not wanting to risk prosecution to fire every suspected illegal worker on payrolls, and not just those working at the time of a raid, according to the Times report.

Due to the shift in the strategy used to uncover illegal workers in U.S., an immigration law consultant quoted in the Times story explained that instead of hundreds of agents going after one company, now one agent can go after hundreds of companies. In the story, ICE states that the goal of the audits is to create a culture of compliance among employers, so businesses need to avoid committing labor abuses and immigration violations — whether knowingly or unknowingly — or risk fines, penalties, and even jail.

Since ICE auditors may examine a company’s Employment Eligibility Verification forms — also known as I-9 forms, which all new hires in the country must fill out — employers need to make sure all employees on payroll are legally eligible to work in the country. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) — a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent — can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/us/10enforce.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

County in Washington to Require E-Verify Use for Contractors

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR NEWS Staff Writer

According to a report on TDN.com, (The Daily News Online), officials in Lewis County, Washington have approved a resolution requiring all contractors hired by the county for $100,000 or above to verify the employment eligibility of their workers through the government’s E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system.

E-Verify — a free, Internet-based system used to determine if employees are legally eligible to work in the county — compares the names of workers with their Social Security numbers and verifies information on the Employment Eligibility Verification forms (I-9 forms) employees must fill out against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.

TDN.com reports that Lewis County was already using E-Verify for contractors paid with federal funding, as mandated by a federal ruling, and also that the county auditor recently began using E-Verify to check the citizenship status of new county workers.

However, some critics felt the $100,000 threshold mandating E-Verify usage was too high, saying contractors using illegal workers would still be able to bid up to $99,999 on county projects without having to use the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, TDN.com reported.

With over 200,000 employers currently using E-Verify and many believing that E-Verify should be mandatory, E-Verify Designated Agents are helping businesses with in the employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) — a leading national background check provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent — can help employers virtually eliminate errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Source:

http://tdn.com/news/state-and-regional/article_5087aea2-7e4f-11df-ba97-001cc4c03286.html