United States of America's illegal immigration mess keeps growing by the minute. Recently, a Houston-based company paid over $1.5 million in fines and three of the company’s managers where arrested for “guilty of harboring an illegal immigrant”. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has stepped up operations to ensure that businesses do not abuse illegal workers. If businesses are diligent during the hiring process as well as with current employees, they can stay out of unnecessary cost and trouble.
New hires have to have a completed I-9 Form. Discrimination is an issue, so employers should take special care in the way they treat and check up on employees, future and present. For example in the I-9 Form, the applicant must be told that they need “either one form of documentation from column A or one each from columns B and C”. The employer cannot ask the applicant to produce documentation based on ethnicity. Neither can they ask for any form of identification, since this is not part of the I-9’s instructions.
However, the Social Security Number provided on the form can be verified using the free E-Verify service. But then, there is a catch.
Employers cannot verify SSN’s of current employees based on suspicion. Instead, they must run an SSN check on all current employees. This is done to avoid discrimination or wrongful termination claims and is part of the I-9’s guidelines.
To stay clear of the immigration mess, seek the help of an expert. The legal mess you or your business could get into is easily avoidable.