Seven Secrets To Surviving An Immigration Audit
Recently, there has been a huge upsurge in workplace raids by Immigration in response to growing political pressure. Immigration is aggresively enforcing laws that are already on the books, which prohibit an employer from "knowingly" employing an unauthorized alien. This change was outlined in an April, 2006 memo, setting forth their new workplace enforcement strategy. Consequently, employers need to get ready now, so that they will be prepared when Immigration knocks on the door. Here are seven secrets to surviving an Immigration Audit:
#1 Do An Internal I-9 Audit Now. Don't wait for Immigration to raid your workplace or to send you a letter demanding to inspect your I-9 Forms within 72 hours to first review them. Do it now. Compare your payroll with your I-9 forms and make sure that you have an I-9 Form for all employees. Make sure that they all have been filled out correctly and completely.
#2 Centralize the I-9 Process. Train 1 or 2 employees in the technical process of filling out I-9 forms. Then have them always be in charge of completing the I-9's , instead of random supervisors, who may or may not be familiar with the process.
#3 Do Not Put the I-9's in the Employee's Personnel file. Keep the I-9 forms in a separate file. You don't want to have to turn over your employee's personnel files to Immigration, since they contain privileged information. (You can put a copy of the I-9 in the employee's personnel file, if you want, but keep the originals separate.¬)
#4 Always Examine the Original Documents - Not Copies. It is critical that you examine the original document, "green card", drivers license or social security card, not a copy.
#5 Copy the Front and Back of All Documents that were Examined, and Attach to the I-9. Although employers are not legally required to make a photocopy of the documents that they examined, doing so, demonstrates the employer's good faith, and if questioned, the employer can point to what documents they relied upon, even if they ultimately prove to be fraudulent.
#6 Establish a Written Policy that Fraud in the Employment Application Process, Will be Grounds for Termination. By doing so, the employer will clearly have the right to terminate an employee if it later discovers that he submitted fraudulent documents to obtain employment.
#7 If you Receive a Social Security Mismatch Letter, Contact Your Attorney First, Before Responding. The Social Security Administration is sending thousands of Social Security Mismatch Letters to Employers, informing them that there is a "mismatch" in the names and social security numbers of some of the employer's employees. There may be serious legal consequences for the employer in this regard. Therefore, immediately contact experienced legal counsel before responding.
For further information and a free evaluation of your case, contact the office of:
Law Office of Eli M. Kantor
9595 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 405
Beverly Hills, CA 901212
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