Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency

News & Analysis as of

Updated Form I-9 and USCIS fee increases

Background on Form I-9 - The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 mandated all employers to verify the identity and employment authorization documents for all of their employees. Form I-9 is used for this...more

Immigration Law Update: The New Administration, DACA, Enforcement Priorities and Employment-Based Immigration

On January 20, 2017, President-elect Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Because immigration was a pivotal issue in his presidential campaign, many foreign nationals and employers are...more

Correction: Employers Could Face Scrutiny, Including From Immigration And Customs Enforcement, If They Cannot Produce Valid Social...

In a September 12, 2016 Fast Laner article, it was incorrectly stated that penalties that could be issued by the IRS for late or incorrect forms submitted pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were capped at $1.5 million....more

Prosecution of Employers Who Hire Illegal Aliens

To manage the flow of illegal immigration the Trump Administration will have to do more that build a physical wall. It will need to enforce existing employ laws. According to the Center for Immigration Studies...more

New Form I-9 Published

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new form I-9 dated November 14, 2016. Although you may accept the prior version of the Form I-9 for the next two months, you will be required to use this new...more

Fines Increasing: Fresh Incentive for Employer Immigration Law Compliance

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an interim final rule that increases significantly the monetary fines assessed against employers for violations of federal immigration law. Under the Immigration Reform and...more

I-9 Checkup: Nine Best Practices for I-9 Compliance

In today’s complicated maze of compliance requirements, most employers are aware of the need to complete a Form I-9 for every new hire. However, some employers fail to recognize the significance of the I-9 form....more

September 2016 Special Immigration Alert

I. DOS Announces 2018 Diversity Lottery - The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) just released its instructions for the DV-2018 Diversity Visa (DV-2018) lottery. The registration period begins on Tuesday, October 4,...more

Employers Could Face Scrutiny, Including From U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement, If They Cannot Produce Valid Social...

In 2016, employers subject to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) annual information reporting requirements under Code Sections 6055 and 6056 were required, for the first time, to distribute Form 1095-C reports to their full-time...more

Immigration Law Violations Occurring After November 2, 2015 Carry Heavier Penalties

Effective August 1, 2016 the Department of Justice is assessing higher penalties for employers that violate immigration laws. These penalties cover violations that occurred after November 2, 2015. Specifically, the DOJ’s...more

Fifth Circuit Overturns $226,000 Fine Imposed on a Staffing Company for Completing Section 2 of Form I-9 Remotely

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the position that employers must physically review original documents in the actual presence of a new hire when completing the attestation in Section 2 of the Form I-9 (the...more

DOJ Hikes Fines for Immigration Related Violations

Despite the numerous Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headlines, the last two years have brought a significant decrease in workplace audits: 3.127 audits in 2013 to 435 audits in 2015. Similarly, the fines during...more

New Requirements for Employers of STEM OPT Students — Seven Extra Months for Seven Extra Requirements

The new STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulation extends the practical training for F-1 students with qualifying degrees from 17 months to 24 months. It also introduces an employer requirement to complete a training...more

Report Shows Better Oversight Needed for DHS Fee-Collecting Programs

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report after examining the way the U.S. Department of Security (DHS) manages the billions of dollars it collects from its various programs. In FY 2014, DHS...more

Form 1095-C and I-9 Compliance: How to handle "mismatches"

Employers complying with the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) by filing Form 1095-C increasingly face another question: Are they in compliance with their I-9 obligations? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with...more

Immigration Compliance Alert: Increase in Fines for Immigration Related Violations Take Effect on August 1, 2016

Up until 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) focused its enforcement efforts almost exclusively on undocumented workers. For instance, ICE made 6,000 workforce enforcement strategy-related arrests in 2008; only...more

Form I-9 Compliance: Tips for Employers to Avoid Liability

Employers are required under federal immigration law to verify the employment eligibility of new employees by reviewing acceptable documents provided by the employee—to establish the employee’s identity and work...more

I-9 Compliance Wisdom from Meeting Between AILA, USCIS and ICE

On May 3, 2016, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Verification and Document Liaison Committee met with USCIS’ Verification Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security...more

DHS Extends Time Period for STEM OPT Employment Authorization

As of May 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expanded the time period during which a foreign student with a degree from a U.S. university in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field may...more

Unionized Employers, Take Note: E-Verify Is a Minefield

On May 13, 2016, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ordered The Ruprecht Company, a meat processor and food manufacturer, to provide confidential immigration documents to the union and to rescind its participation...more

Major Modifications to Immigration Programs May Cause Major Headaches

Today, I’m delighted to bring you what I hope will be the first of several updates for employers from the immigration law perspective. One of my newest colleagues, Ashley Mendoza, along with my law partner Brenda Eckert,...more

Buyer Beware: Noncompliant Electronic I-9 Software Risks Customer Company Fines

Electronic I-9 software can be very attractive to companies looking for efficiency and ensuring compliance. Not to mention the elimination of file drawers that once housed these voluminous paper I-9 files. However, buyers...more

New STEM OPT Rule Goes Into Effect May 10: Good news and challenges

Both F-1 students and employers have been following the litigation over the F-1 OPT (optional practical training) program. The government was sued by tech workers in Washington, D.C. regarding a part of this program, the...more

TFTEA – CBP Organizational Structure

Among its many provisions, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (“TFTEA” or the “Act”), H.R. 644, formally establishes U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) as a department within Homeland Security (“DHS”)....more

New Customs Bill Becomes Law

On February 24, 2016, H.R. 644 was signed into law by the President. While yet another trade-related bill was signed without any public ceremony, this new law contains a number of timely provisions. The first section deals...more

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