Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Man Providing False Documents to Employees Receives Stiff Penalty

The final defendant from the 2007 ICE raid on a Monte Vista potato farm and processing plant was sentenced on Monday, January 28, 2008.

The defendant pleaded guily to two felonies: obtaining and having a counterfeited alien registration card and transferring five or more phony identification documents. The documents were counterfeit federal permanent resident cards, Social Security cards, and drivers' licenses.

For his guilty pleas, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison. After serving his time, the defendant, a U.S. legal permanent resident, will be removed from the United States, leaving behind his wife and nine children.

The other two defendants from the raid, the manager and foreman, were found guilty of misdemeanors.

For the entire story, see "Man gets 15 months in illegal alien scheme," The Pueblo Chieftain (January 29, 2008).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Basics of E-Verify

What is E-Verify?
E-Verify (formerly known as the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program) is an Internet-based system operated by teh Departm;e;nt of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees.

Is there a cost to use E-Verify?
No. E-Verify is free.

Is E-Verify mandatory?
No. Use of E-Verify is voluntary.

How does E-Verify work?
E-Verify provides participating employers an automated Internet-based resource to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Employment eligibility verification queries authorization checks on all newly hired employees, including U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, against SSA and DHS databases

Employers use E-Verify by entering information captured on the Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9). E-Verify then compares employee information against approximately 425 million records found int he SSA database and more than 60 million records stored in the DHS database.

Which employees must be verified through E-Verify?
Employers are required to verify all newly hired employees, both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. Employers may not verify selectively and must verify all new hired while participating in the program.

The program may not be used to prescreen applicants for employment. Employers cannot go back and verify employees hired before the company signed the Memorandum of Understanding (see below). Employers cannot re-verify employees who have temporary work authorization.

How do employers participate in E-Verify?

The first step to participation is registration with DHS. (Click here to begin registration process)

After registration, the next step is filling out the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which is required to participate in E-Verify. The MOU provides the terms of agreement between the employer, the SSA, and DHS. The MOU must be signed by an employee of the company who has signatory authority for the employer (Designated Agent)

More information on E-Verify may be found at: E-Verify_Manual

Oregon Employers Take Immigrant-Rights Stance

Oregon employers are planning to launch the Oregon Essential Worker Immigration Coalition in February 2008, as a means to make their interests heard in the State's immigration debate.

Jeff Stone, one of the Coalition's founders, said agriculture, construction, food service, hospitality, and other sectors of Oregon business want the Federal government to fix the immigration system. In part, that means fending off state and local laws that would restrict employers' ability to continue relying on foreign workers.

One proposed law, which is slated to take effect on February 4, 2008, will restrict the issuance of Oregon drivers' licenses to those who can document citizenship or legal residence in the United States. Stone said the Coalition was unlikely to push for such a proposal because he didn't "think that bill's time is right. It inflames too many people, frankly."

Ramon Ramirez, President of Oregon's Farm Workers' Union, said he was eager for employers to voice their concerns over the wave of excessively harsh anti-immigration proposals. With the voice of Oregon business, Ramirez hopes that politicians will be more willing to listen and give weight to immigrant rights.

For the full story, refer to: "Oregon employers launch immigrant-rights coalition" The Register-Guard (January 23, 2008)