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Expect Increased Worksite Inspections by ICE in 2018



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Expect Increased Worksite Inspections by ICE in 2018
Posted on: November 15th, 2017

By: Melissa M. Whitehead



One can barely turn on the news (or look at Twitter) without hearing about the current Administration’s immigration views and policies. The topic has become so highly politicized that it can be easy to miss the actual details of new rules and regulations. Employers must pay close attention, though, and be sure they are staying current with the changing regulations. At a recent event titled “Enforcing U.S. Immigration Laws: A Top Priority for the Trump Administration,” keynote speaker and Acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) said that his agency will be cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. He recently instructed Homeland Security Investigation to increase the amount of time spent on work site enforcement “by four to five times.” He also promised that the number of worksite inspections would significantly increase “in the next fiscal year.” Why? According to Homan, “unless you remove the magnets… they’re gonna keep coming… . As long as they’re coming to get a job, they’ll try to come. So we are stepping up work site enforcement…”

What does this mean for employers?

Employers should expect an increased likelihood of employment immigrant audits, with or without advanced notice. This is likely to come in the form of I-9 audits. For this reason, employers are encouraged to periodically conduct internal Form I-9 audits with the assistance of counsel, to ensure that I-9 forms are being correctly completed and appropriate records are being maintained. Employers must also ensure that the correct Form I-9 is being used, as the approved form frequently changes. The most recent version was released in July 2017 and became mandatory on September 18, 2017. Any errors discovered in the audit should be immediately remedied. Employers should also consider providing training to their HR professionals in I-9 compliance and policies. Both substantive and technical violations alike will result in penalties anywhere from $220 to $2,156 per employee’s I-9.

Employers in states or cities that have declared as “sanctuary cities/states” have an even more complicated burden. For example, California’s “sanctuary state” legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2018. California employers, then, will be prohibited from voluntarily allowing federal immigration enforcement agents into non-public work areas or access to employee records without a warrant. The legislation also places specific requirements for both pre-inspection and post-inspection notice to employees. Failure to comply with sanctuary state legislation will subject California employers to civil penalties between $2,000 to $5,000 per employee for the first violation, and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

Conclusion

Employers are encouraged to perform internal audits of their policies and practices before or around the start of 2018, and to seek the advice of counsel well-versed in both employment and immigration regulations, for assistance in navigating these tricky waters.


Source: http://www.fmglaw.com/FMGBlogLine/wage-and-hour/expect-increased-worksite-inspections-by-ice-in-2018/





ICE宣布明年重点扫荡职场 严查雇主是否守规矩



一名底特律妇女举牌抗议移民及海关执法局突检逮捕数以百计伊拉克裔移民。(美联社)


一名妇女在国安部移民及海关执法局华府总部门口举牌,抗议移民局探员突检逮人的作法。(Getty Images)

美国移民和海关执法局(ICE)高层官员指出,在新的一年里,移民主管机关将对职场移民人口加强查缉,并出现较历任总统执政期间都还严格的手段,重点在于雇主是否确实遵守移民法规。

数十年前,类似的职场移民查缉行动,经常引发雇用无证移民劳工的企业界反弹,导致查缉行动以雷声大雨点小告终。

联邦移民和海关执法局下辖的国土安全调查处(Homeland Security Investigations)负责田纳西州事务的副特别探员汉默尔(Robert Hammer)指出,仅在田州,联邦机关从2018年开始,就会针对州内各地的职场,全面加强移民执法,展开查缉行动。

执行层面上,汉默尔指出,查缉重点可能着重于“重大基础设施”,包括机场、国防包商、食品运输业,以及其他涉及公共安全与福祉的企业。

汉默尔以田州为例表示,在联邦移民和海关执法局代理局长霍曼(Thomas D. Homan)的命令下,调查人员过去这段期间,不断加强针对职场移民的查缉行动。他表示,霍曼要求调查人员必须把移民查缉行动的重点,放在各工作场所。

汉默尔表示,不同工作地点所安排的优先级各有差别,重大基础设施则被主管机关列为优先项目。他说:“每个单位都缺人手。因此,在人力有限的情况下,我们必须把资源集中能够获得最大成效的目标上头。”

他说,来自社会大众的举报线索,也会让调查人员对其他工作场所展开查缉。

汉默尔说:“我们希望对于民众举报与线索做出回应。线索通常来自公司行号里的现任员工,或者已经离职的前雇员都有。”

根据媒体报导,联邦机关加强职场移民扫荡,可能对聘用了移民劳公的公司行号与不同产业造成冲击,对于整体社区而言,也会造成某种程度的影响。

反对人士指出,加强职场移民查缉将对辛苦赚钱养家的平民百姓带来伤害,对产业来说则如同遏止劳工供应来源。相对的,对查缉行动持赞成立场的支持者则指出,如此改变将为美国公民开启就业大门,也让合法劳工能够获得更好的薪资条件。












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