The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the E-Verify program, has announced that the website www.e-verify.gov will not be available to employers during the current partial government shutdown. The website will not be managed or updated until after funding is restored. DHS reported that “information on this website may not be up to date. Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted.”
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With news of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agencies raiding nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across 17 states in the US demanding employment verification from managers, TerraLex recently asked me to discuss what considerations employers and employees should keep top of mind if an onsite raid occurs.  Here is my response for a TerraLex publication:

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On July 17, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released an updated version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This updated version will replace the most recent form from late January of this year. Employers will have the option to use the updated form (Rev. 07/17/17 N) or continue using the previous Form I-9 (Rev. 11/14/2016 N) during a 60 day grace period, until September 17, 2017. Beginning September 18, 2017, employers will be required to use the updated form for the initial employment verification of all new hires, as well as any applicable employment re-verifications.

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Photo: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr (CC by 2.0)
Photo: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”  Among other things, the EO attempted to implement a travel ban whereby individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would be prohibited from entering the United States. Immediately, nationals from the named countries faced extraordinary hardship in entering the U.S.  Individuals with valid non-immigrant visas, such as F-1 student visas, H-1B work visas and other individuals with valid visas were affected. Green card holders (immigrant visa holders) were also affected.  These non-immigrants and immigrants are individuals who live in the United States, have family, jobs, homes, or other ties to the U.S., and who have gone through the lengthy and rigorous immigration process to obtain valid visas to enter the U.S. The EO extended to effect refugees who had been vetted by the U.S. government and granted refugee status by the U.S. to escape persecution.
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Thumbnail with Play buttonThe H-1B visa is one of the most popular work visas in the United States, but is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain due to a shortage.  Applications for H-1B visas are accepted on April 1 of each year, so now is the time for businesses to start the planning process.

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use on March 8, 2013.  Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they