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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

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  1. Where is E-Verify headed in State Legislatures?

    States and local governments have been passing E-Verify legislation requiring all employers or employers contracting with state and/or local government to use E-Verify.  The question which this post and further posts will discuss is whether state and local governments will continue to pass E-Verify legislation or has the trend slowed down.
    Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature failed to agree on passage of mandatory E-Verify legislation. This appears to be an affront to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been a proponent and/or author of much state immigration legislation throughout the U.S.
    In Tennessee, it was widely believed the legislature would likely amend the non-mandatory E-Verify bill, which was passed in 2011, which stated private employers can either signup for E-Verify and receive protection under state law or copy and maintain one of the specified identification documents. The amendment would require E-Verify use to be mandatory. However, the Tea Party forces in the legislature could not overcome Republican Governor Bill Haslam and Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell's opposition, which was based upon the need to keep the legislative session focused on the economy, not on social issues. Thus, there was never even a vote to amend the E-Verify law. 
    In the last few years, the following states have required employers within their state to utilize E-Verify for newly-hired employees: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah.   These states require employers who contract with state and/or local government to utilize E-Verify: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.  Two states, Louisiana and Tennessee, have "non-mandatory" E-Verify requirements.  On the other hand, California prohibits local governments from requiring the use of E-Verify.
    Which way will other states go? In at least 15 states, E-Verify legislation has been introduced in their state legislatures. But, will it die like it did in Kansas and Tennessee or will it pass, like Alabama and Georgia. Time will tell and I'll get you informed on these developments.
  2. DOJ Files Lawsuit against Casino for Employment-related Immigration Practices

    On May 31, 2012, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Tuscany Hotel and Casino LLC in Las Vegas alleging the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in the employment eligibility verification and re-verification process.
    The Complaint alleges Tuscany, for over five years, utilized a practice of recording the expiration dates of all non-U.S. citizen employees' work authorization documents in its payroll system. It did not record such expiration dates for documents of citizens. Furthermore, non-U.S. citizens, who presented a List B and a List C document during the initial employment eligibility verification process, were required by Tuscany to provide the expiration date of their permanent resident (LPR) card as a condition of employment.

    Thereafter, it is alleged Tuscany subjected lawful permanent residents to unnecessary reverification by requiring them to provide a renewed permanent resident card to continue employment. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), employers may not request reverification of permanent resident cards even if they expire after their employment begins. Furthermore, the INA requires employers to treat all authorized workers equally during the hiring, firing and employment eligibility verification process, regardless of their national origin or citizenship status.

    Requesting reverification of expired permanent resident cards is a common mistake of employers since it is counter-intuitive that an expired LPR card does not mean the employee's employment eligibility has expired. That's one reason that employers need the wise counsel of immigration compliance attorneys - to guide employers through the maze of immigration compliance regulations, some of which are counter-intuitive.
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