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Immigration experts: New form will fight job fraud

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Immigration experts: New form will fight job fraud

I-9 becomes mandatory today

By JAMES PINKERTON

2007 Houston Chronicle

Starting today, every employer in America must use a new employment verification form that immigration officials say will help reduce document fraud.

To comply with a 1996 law, the new I-9 form drops five documents from the list that employers could use to verify employees' identities and work eligibility.

And immigration experts predict this is only a first step in the government's plan to further reduce the number of documents used to verify employment, part of a heightened effort to root out document fraud in the workplace.

But for now, the new I-9 form is not expected to present significant problems when it becomes mandatory today, according to government officials, immigration experts in Houston and the nation's largest employer.

''We're anticipating a smooth transition from the old form to the new one," said Chris Bentley, a spokesman with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington. ''It's one we've publicized to the employer community, one they know is coming, and it's as simple as downloading the new form and using that as of the 26th."

Bentley said the decade-long delay in implementing the form was due to the transition from the old Immigration and Naturalization Service to the USCIS, part of the federal reorganization that created the Department of Homeland Security.

The documents' removal ''has to do with frequency of how they can be fraudulently produced," he said.

At Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer with 1.3 million workers, there have been ''no issues" raised by the revised document, said spokeswoman Sharon Weber.

"We're already using it. Our goal is to be in compliance with all regulations and forms required of us," said Weber, at company headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

The new form took effect Nov. 7, but did not become mandatory until today.

In Houston, veteran immigration attorney Gordon Quan said the I-9 will have minimal impact on existing employment verification procedures.

Civil penalties unchanged

''We knew these amendments were going to happen," he said. ''It's an update of the form. ... I don't think the excluded documents will affect very many people."

The five excluded documents are all immigration forms, including certificates of U.S. citizenship and naturalization, that government officials believed could be counterfeited. The new form retains five documents that establish identity and employment eligibility, including the U.S. passport and the so-called Green Card or permanent resident card.

The new I-9 form must be used for employees hired after Nov. 7, 2007, but existing workers who have the old I-9 on file do not have to fill out new forms. Civil penalties remain unchanged and range from fines of $250 to $2,000 for a first offense of knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant, and $100 to $1,000 for paperwork errors.

Companies don't have to submit the forms to the government but are required to have an I-9 available for inspection for every employee hired after November 1986. The company officials must also certify that supporting identity documents presented by their employee ''appear to be genuine."

On the I-9 form, an employee's Social Security card is only required when a company participates in the government's voluntary E-Verify program. This pilot program allows employers to electronically check the card's number against Social Security Administration and immigration databases.

'It's just housekeeping'

''We realize employers aren't forensic document examiners," said Bentley, the USCIS spokesman. ''Their responsibility is to look and make their best estimate as to whether a person is authorized to work, and

E-Verify takes that process a step further."

In October, a federal judge blocked new Department of Homeland Security regulations that would force employers to fire an estimated 8 million workers whose names did not match their Social Security numbers. Labor unions and business groups sued to stop the ''No Match" rules, citing liability to businesses and hardship to workers who couldn't correct errors in Social Security in time to avoid dismissal.

Elaine Morley, a Houston immigration attorney, said the new I-9 form will not make a ''material difference" in efforts to reduce unlawful employment since the government has long advised against using the five excluded documents.

''It's just housekeeping by the federal government," said Morley, who is chief executive officer of Lookout Services Inc., which has sold software systems for I-9 management and

E-Verify checks to more than 4,000 companies.

However, Morley says the government is planning to propose regulations that will further exclude allowable identity documents and predicts a firestorm of criticism and court challenges.

''They're touting that they're going to make significant changes to documents that are available, but in my opinion they don't have a lot of wiggle room in the documents they can remove," said Morley.

But she's not complaining about any changes.

''Every piece of legislation has proposed changes to greatly increase these penalties as a deterrent," she said. ''The phone rings off the hook every time they start talking about increasing enforcement and increasing fines. It's scaring people."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5403754.html


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: Timeline
Starting today, every employer in America must use a new employment verification form that immigration officials say will help reduce document fraud.

To comply with a 1996 law, the new I-9 form

...

Bentley said the decade-long delay in implementing the form was due to the transition from the old Immigration and Naturalization Service to the USCIS...

A 1996 law is finally being acted on today because of a transition that was first proposed in June 2002?

Sounds Washington.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Filed: Timeline
Starting today, every employer in America must use a new employment verification form that immigration officials say will help reduce document fraud.

To comply with a 1996 law, the new I-9 form

...

Bentley said the decade-long delay in implementing the form was due to the transition from the old Immigration and Naturalization Service to the USCIS...

A 1996 law is finally being acted on today because of a transition that was first proposed in June 2002?

Sounds Washington.

Well, you see, they were going to implement that in 2002 (applications and petitions are not the only thing backlogged at the Immigration Service, Congress needs to get in line there too) and then they got hit with the transition. Total bummer.

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"I-9 becomes mandatory today"

It wasn't mandatory before? :unsure::blink::wacko:

I guess that some laws are simply suggestions... :unsure::blink::wacko: (((Hehehehehe)))


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Even the Bush administration doesnt mess with the Hispanic vote, especially in Texas. Mismatch name/SS numbers ARE the most efficient way to remove illegals from the workplaces. The Hispanics know that, and that's why they are fighting so hard. If: They can EVER implement that, with perhaps some sort of appeal process to correct the few mistakes in name/SS# matches, workplaces will rapidly be cleared of illegals.

Before I get jumped, yes, there are hundreds of thousands of illegals in Houston alone, and i am speaking of illegals, so you legal Hispanic immigrants please do not take offense. We are all about legal immigration, and supporting legal immigration, but want our borders, schools, services, and hospitals closed and closed tightly to illegals.

If you want true and proper change for the good of mankind, and are thinking of picking a rant, feel free to stand up against the Mexican government who just shoots Guatemalans who try to sneak across THEIR borders for a better life. So if we, here in the US want a legal and proper system, at least we hopefully won't sink to the "Mexican immigration control" level of summary execution.

Regards,

David and Nitadyah

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Even the Bush administration doesnt mess with the Hispanic vote, especially in Texas. Mismatch name/SS numbers ARE the most efficient way to remove illegals from the workplaces. The Hispanics know that, and that's why they are fighting so hard. If: They can EVER implement that, with perhaps some sort of appeal process to correct the few mistakes in name/SS# matches, workplaces will rapidly be cleared of illegals.

Before I get jumped, yes, there are hundreds of thousands of illegals in Houston alone, and i am speaking of illegals, so you legal Hispanic immigrants please do not take offense. We are all about legal immigration, and supporting legal immigration, but want our borders, schools, services, and hospitals closed and closed tightly to illegals.

If you want true and proper change for the good of mankind, and are thinking of picking a rant, feel free to stand up against the Mexican government who just shoots Guatemalans who try to sneak across THEIR borders for a better life. So if we, here in the US want a legal and proper system, at least we hopefully won't sink to the "Mexican immigration control" level of summary execution.

Regards,

David and Nitadyah

Two things:

1) Well said.

2) You'll get some heat on this.

Cheers!

:pop:

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Colombia
Timeline

It is a good reply based on comparing two different control systems when it comes to immigration control.

The document idea mentioned here is great. Do what is already supposed to be done. One way of telling companies that there are real consequences to job fraud. I hope some illegals get the picture and legalize themselves whichever way they can.

The one getting heat now is me... dinner is a team effort tonight so I better get working!

Edited by maviwaro

Wishing you ten-fold that which you wish upon all others.

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