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The Integrity News
"objective risk management news"
Vol. XVI   No. 5
ISSN 1081-2717


The Integrity Center, Inc.
June 19,  2007  

Immigration Reform
Will Mean:
Employers MUST
Enforce Employment
Eligibility Verification

This Issue is a "heads up" on the topic of coming Employment Eligibility Verification enforcement.   Last week, to sweeten the deals so that a new Immigration Reform law will get through Congress,  they have added an amendment that will supply $4.4  Billion in upfront funding for U.S. border control  and workplace enforcement.

Please, at least scan this entire Issue, it is important to your company.

There are many employment-related topics in the draft legislation that are not discussed in this Issue.   Such topics are severe civil and criminal penalties  for false attestation and willful non-compliance;  debarring of employers from Government-related work for repeated violations; new discrimination definitions based on nationality; new H-1B visa parameters; a new H-2C visa; new biometric  machine-readable standards; and other topics.

The fines are so very high, because one provision of the draft legislation is that the fees and fines that the Government plans on collecting, will be a funding source for the implementation of the law.

An Immigration Reform bill may not pass in this  Congress even though the leaders of both the House and the Senate, and the President, say that it will.   If it does, it may not look like the current House or  Senate versions, and it may not have the current  provisions.   They plan on accepting up to 20 amendments beginning this week.

However, it is obvious that Congress believes that employers are
"a problem", and a great source of fine and fee money.

There will be something in whatever new law passes,  whenever it passes, that will be similar to the draft  versions now being debated.   The Government wants  to make sure that employers are verifying every employee's eligibility for employment with documents  that the employer has reason to believe are authentic.

While the draft versions do not explicitly say so yet,  the clear implication is that when the Government  checks the compliance of an employer, that they will  check the employment eligibility of ALL existing  employees plus the procedure used for verifying the  eligibility for employment of your new applicants.

Employers will be required to have employment  eligibility proof for every employee.   The penalties  for non-compliance in the current draft versions  include the levy of BIG fines, per employee, on  employers.
   The Government says that they are  working on implementing various ways of collecting  the information from you electronically.

Under the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) dictates: "employers are required to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification forms ( Form I-9 )  for all employees, including *ALL* U.S. citizens".     ( The current Form I-9 was last updated 11/21/1991, so  this is not something new.)   Any new law will surely develop this verification concept to an intense new  level, and with today's technology, the Government will expect employers to be able to prove that they  are in compliance.

U.S. immigration reform is important.   It relates to the rule of law, terrorism, taxation, benefits, families, competitive American businesses, the need for good  employees, benefit contributions, and many other  building blocks of our society.   This topic is capturing  the full attention of the Congress, the Administration,  and the public.   The House version of the new law, the  STRIVE Act of 2007, and the Senate version of the new law, the CIR Act of 2007, are currently being debated.   Both versions contain many serious  implications for U.S. employers.   They each contain  a Section or Title that is effectively named  "Employment Eligibility Verification".

The resulting new law, when it does pass, will be a very major piece of legislation for America.

The goal of this Issue is to explain to our clients and our subscribers some of the things that you need to  be thinking about as employers.   As currently drafted, both versions each contain a number of severe  penalties for non-compliance.   Because there has not been a new law enacted yet, what you should  take from this Issue is the tone of the thinking in Congress about the responsibilities of employers, and the likely path that Congress will take.

To the people who say that prior legislation has not been enforced, we remind you that:  (1) times have  changed quickly for the technology of information  access, and  (2) Government attitudes have changed  about the need to use all available information.

The drafts anticipate that the Department of Homeland  Security (DHS) will be given access to Social Security, Income Tax, and Payroll records among many other  sources.   New enforcement agencies are created.   There  will be an electronic means of Government enforcement.


If you have been properly completing, and keeping on file, a Form I-9 for each and every employee, based  on documents that you have tried to determine are in  fact authentic, and that you possibly have further evaluated by comparing them to, say, an ID Verification, then you probably would be in a good position to begin  to satisfy the new law.

The STRIVE Act of 2007 "creates a means for employers to electronically verify workers' employment eligibility, establishes criminal penalties for employers and workers who operate outside the new protocol, and implements strong enforcement mechanisms".

Yet, the new system will only be available initially to  "critical infrastructure" employers such as nuclear,  airline, and other obvious terrorist-target industries.

It will then be available to "large" employers at a later date.   BUT -- ALL employers are expected to respond to Form I-9 enforcement from the time that  the new law goes into effect !!!    ( It is our opinion that the Government is making the entire enforcement  system continue to depend upon the Form I-9 because  it already exists, it should have been complied with all  along, and they may not be able to get "the new system"  working in a reasonable amount of time, or at all.)   Recall the problems that the FBI had trying to get their new integrated system going in the years after 9/11.

The Integrity Center, Inc. has been in the business of verifying worker's backgrounds for over 20 years.   We understand the magnitude of the Government's task.   The House version of the new law says that  the new electronic worker eligibility verification  system will help employers verify 60 million workers  per year.

What the Act does not say is that the new system  will be the only way to verify employment eligibility.     THE ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW ARE *NOT* TIED TO THE AVAILABILITY  OF THE NEW SYSTEM.   The drafts of the new law  specifically instruct employers to comply by continuing  to use Form I-9, and base their hiring decisions on  authenticated information.

Keeping in mind that Form I-9 compliance has long  been required, many employers have not been very methodical about their employee records.   When most employers are checked for compliance, they probably will have incomplete files for some existing employees,  and maybe even have a weak, or lacking, system for verifying the employment eligibility of new applicants.

To assist our clients with their compliance tasks, we have added an online Form I-9 to your Client Interface.   It will appear for your use on July 11, 2007.   It is fully Biometrically Enhanced (although you will only see the standard Form I-9 until the additional information is required by the Government, then it will automatically appear for your use).

If you are a current subscriber to our Employee Files,  or use us for your Payroll Preparation, the new online  Form I-9, and the new compliance reports that can be  generated from your stored data, are FREE.

If you currently work with us for Background Checking or online Job Applications, there will be a small one-time  charge per Form I-9 that will enable you to print the individual forms to be signed, and will also provide you with unlimited printing of the compliance reports that can repeatedly be generated over time from your stored data.

IN EITHER CASE, if you have been working with us,  all of your data that we have is immediately able to  appear as the identification information on your required  I-9 forms.   No data re-entry is required.   You will just  have to check the items on the drop-down lists that  correspond to the authentication documents for each employee, enter the passport, driver's license, or other  number(s), and print a copy of the Form I-9 for that  person and your company representative to sign.

The beauty of having the Form I-9 online is:

    It is all web based, so you only need your browser and it is
as easy to use as the rest of our Client Interface.

    Our system automatically keeps an audit trail of whose login
was used to approve each Form I-9.

    You can always call up any Form I-9, look at it, or print it.

    You can always print a list of your completed I-9 forms to make
it easy for you to compare with your other lists of employee
data for your internal auditing purposes.

    As with all of your other data that we store for you, your
complete data set can always be downloaded to you for your
other purposes.

    If the Government requires you to electronically transmit a
file of all your I-9 forms, that functionality is ready.

    If DNA swab data, fingerprint classification data, retina scan
data, facial recognition data, hand vein pattern data, blood
type data, or the storage of other biometric data become
mandatory, you will be ready at no additional cost and with
no additional learning curve.  Our Form I-9 is Biometrically

If a new law passes, and depending upon what passes, this legislation will become a big deal for employers.     That is why we urge you to think about the possibilities.     Actually, you should already be 100% sure that you  have all your I-9 forms in order.

We are trying to get you to realize some of what could be buried  in the new Immigration Reform law that will effect you the employer, and we are providing tools to help you avoid the big new fees and fines.

We will all be waiting to see what Act, if any, is signed into law.   We are staying on top of this situation, so feel free to call us to discuss any aspect of your compliance efforts.   As always, you can call   The Integrity Center, Inc.   anytime at   (972) 484-6140.   Helping you with your Risk Management and HR Automation is what we do.

The Resume
Immigration Reform
   Will Mean:
   Employers MUST
The Mobile
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Three New
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"7 Ways
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