Originally published in the 2012 Edition of Inside the Minds published by Aspatore/Thomson West.
This chapter discusses the current immigration enforcement climate for US employers, which involves a shift away from worksite raids and toward more I-9 audits. Companies can and should adopt “best practices” in the immigration area long before they are faced with responding to an ICE audit. Issues such as internal I-9 audits, joining E-Verify, and responding to an ICE audit are all discussed in this chapter.
Trends and Legal Issues in Immigration Enforcement -
Until the last few years, the area of immigration enforcement in the workplace was largely occupied by the federal government and its enforcement of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). However, many states have recently become active in the immigration area both by passing state laws that attempt to regulate immigration issues and in enforcing those laws. For example, in Arizona, the state legislature passed the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), A.R.S. 23-211- 214, in 2007 with an effective date of January 1, 2008. LAWA was intended to ensure that no business in Arizona knowingly or intentionally hired or employed undocumented workers. Violation of the law carries with it the potential penalty of a violating company losing its state and local business licenses. LAWA also required all Arizona employees to begin using E-Verify as of January 1, 2008. To date, only four cases have resulted in authorities prosecuting an Arizona employer pursuant to LAWA, with only one business being shut down for two days. These activities are most likely to continue given current political sensitivities and the fact that the US Supreme Court has upheld LAWA.
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