April 2011

Increasing I-9 Audits for Employers

There is an increasing surge of audits by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to investigate companies possible hiring unauthorized workers. It has been further reported that ICE will conduct many more audits of employers to verify whether they meet the I-9 verification requirements.

What are the possible sanctions for employers hiring an undocumented person in violation of the I-9 verification requirements?

At worst, the employer can be sanctioned with fines for up to half a million dollars. The employer may also be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 10 years.

In most cases, when ICE investigates employers for I-9 forms, it suspects that the business is in the practice of hiring employees without proper work authorization. It is important for employers to conduct proper I-9 verification when hiring employees.


Filing Period 2010 begins for H-1B Petitions

On April 1, 2011, the USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2012. So far it has received 5,900 petitions toward the annual cap of 65,000.

Background: Anyone with an offer of employment for a "specialty occupation," requiring a bachelor's degree or higher, may be eligible for this valuable H-1B employment visa. There is a cap of 65,000 petitions per fiscal year. Some aliens of advanced degree are provided an exemption from the cap, i.e. for the first 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries who have obtained a U.S. master's degree or higher.

If you are looking for an employment-based visa in order to remain in the U.S., consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately.


Update on the Arizona SB 1070

On April 11, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against Arizona's anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. The Ninth Circuit denied the state's appeal of a federal district court's July decision that prevented segments of the law from going into effect because it violates the U.S. Constitution. The injunction prevents implementation of the main sections of SB 1070 until the Court decides the constitutionality of the legislation.

 

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