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  1. Office of Special Counsel Settles Lawsuit against Casino for Unlawful Immigration Practices; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    Tuscany Hotel and Casino LLC in Las Vegas has resolved a lawsuit, filed by the DOJ's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Practices, which alleged that the casino discriminated in
    the employment eligibility verification and reverification process.  
    The lawsuit, filed on May 11, 2012, alleged Tuscany treated non-citizens differently from U.S. citizens during the employment eligibility verification and reverification process.   The complaint alleged the casino required non-citizen employees to provide more or different documents or information than it required from citizen employees during the initial employment eligibility
    verification process.  According to the complaint, the company then used the documents or information it gathered to impose improper document requests on noncitizens during the reverification process as a condition of continued employment.    The complaint further alleged that the casino subjected non-citizen employees' documents to a heightened review process by senior human resources representatives that was not applied to documents presented by U.S. citizens.      
    Under the settlement agreement, Tuscany will pay $49,000 in civil penalties to the United States and full back pay to a victim.  Tuscany also agreed to implement new employment eligibility verification policies and procedures that treat all employees equally regardless of citizenship status, conduct training of its human resources staff on their responsibilities to avoid discrimination in the
    employment eligibility verification process, and be subject to reporting and monitoring requirements.
    This is just another example of the Office of Special Counsel cracking down on employers.  Remember it is important to treat citizens and non-citizens alike in the I-9 process.
  2. Owners of Clarion Hotels Face Seizure of Hotels for Immigration-Related Violations; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    The owners of two Clarion Hotels in the Kansas City area have been in indicted for conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants, five counts of harboring undocumented immigrants, and four counts of wire fraud. If convicted, they face five to 20 years for each conviction, fines of up to $250,000 per count and seizure of their two hotels.
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) began their
    investigation based on a tip that the hotels were employing undocumented workers. It is unknown who provided the tip but two possibilities are a former employer or a competitor hotel. Thereafter, ICE-HSI in interviewed a number of employees and determined approximately 50% of the employees were undocumented.
    In the course of the investigation, ICE-HSI sent an undercover agent, who sought work while conceding he did not have "any papers." He was offered employment at less than minimum wage. When he inquired why, he was told because there would be no withholdings from his wages. Thus, the government alleges "the economic motive was to cut costs and to get an advantage on other hotels that abided by the law."
    By seeking the seizure of the hotels, the U.S. government is upping up the penalties for immigration fraud. This is just one more reason why employers should treat immigration compliance with the utmost seriousness.
  3. USCIS Warns of Phone Scammers Impersonating Officials

    by , 10-22-2012 at 11:09 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Don't be a victim! From USCIS:


    Recently, we were made aware of a new telephone scam where  individuals
    pretend to be USCIS employees and aggressively try to get you to sign
    up for a training course led by government officials. These scammers
    attempt to pressure you to pay for this course and will ask you to
    disclose your financial information (i.e.-money order, credit card and
    bank account details) over the phone.





    Do
    not give important personal or financial information over the phone to
    anyone you don't know or contacts you unexpectedly. USCIS
    representatives will never call you and ask for money for training, products, or forms.
  4. Bloggings: Myths that Could Cost GOP and Democrats the Election , By: Danielle L. C. Beach-Oswald


    During the election cycle the importance of Latino voters becomes even more apparent as either party attempts to garner Hispanic support.  A recent Washington Post article outlined five myths about Latino voters.  These myths include that Latinos:  

    Do not vote.
    Are social conservatives who should lean Republican.
    Favor increased government services and therefore are reliable Democratic voters.
    Care most about immigration.
    Are swayed by the presence of a Latino candidate on the ballot.  

    A critical observation made in the piece concerns the importance this community places on certain policy issues, such as immigration.  It is often assumed that immigration is consistently the single priority issue for the average Latino voter.  The media often shape the immigration debate in terms of border issues with Mexico, continued persecution, rising deportation rates, and the high number of Latin immigrants.  Interestingly enough, the Hispanic population is worried about many of the same things as the rest of the United States.  Polls have indicated that registered Latino voters are most worried about job creation and fixing the economy.  Even though immigration reform is second in significance, it is closely followed by education and healthcare.  
    Through all the myths identified, it appears that the common theme is that this key group is misunderstood, due to many incorrect assumptions.  What is the significance of these myths?  For one, if they are mistakenly considered facts the inaccuracies have the potential to substantially affect the political process.  Latinos are voting in great numbers and therefore politicians must be aware of this fact and cater to their interests, in garnering the Hispanic vote.  Although the Hispanic population typically leans more right on topics such as abortion and marriage, these two issues do not decide the final party affiliation.  For this reason, both parties are presented with the challenge of fighting for this key constituency and trying to reach some kind of compromise.  Hand in hand with this argument is the assumption that Latino voters are always going to vote for the Democratic party due to a need for government services.  But this is incorrect, as in the end the party affiliation is dependent on a wide range of factors.  
    The final myth is that Latino voters vote for candidates of Hispanic descent alone.  This is highly inaccurate, because just like any other group, the Latino voter considers the entire package and which policy initiatives most directly correspond to his concerns and desires.    
    This analysis of the misinterpretation of the Latino voter is insightful since such mistakes are common across ethnic and socioeconomic group divisions.  Politicians may pay particular attention to individual constituencies, but cannot forget to consider the entire package.  Misinterpretations are common among the African American group as well, and only with further analysis and actual statistics may these myths be eliminated.       
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  5. Letters of the Week: Oct 22 - Oct 26

    Please email your letters to editor@ilw.com or post them directly as "Comment" below.
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