I'm Right Again Dot Com

A new commentary every Wednesday   -  March 4, 2015


    To quote Handbook M-274, available from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USC&IS), operating under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) umbrella, "Employment is often the magnet that attracts individuals to reside in the United States illegally." Permit me to include "most often," in that statement.

    Since 1986, employers have been required to obtain from each of their employees: information needed to successfully complete form I-9, available from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  I spent the past weekend reading their handbook M-274. It  instructs, in the highest detail, how to perform this chore.  An employer does not have to file form any M-274 with any governmental entity, but instead is required to retain I-9 forms at the place of employment.  This federal statute was reinforced in the "Illegal Immigration Reform Act of 1996." To quote from Handbook M-274: "You, (the employer) must complete form I-9 each time you hire any person to perform labor services in the United States, in return for wages or other remuneration."

     Take care, for the law does not say that this pertains only to hiring people with an accent, or certain physical attributes. It applies as much to blue eyed, blond haired persons named Olson, who claim for example, that their great-grandparents immigrated from Sweden and they themselves were born in Minneapolis.

     If the employer fails to properly retain and make available for inspection the I-9 forms, the employer faces civil penalties in an amount of no less than $110, and no more more than $1,100 for each violation. Additional penalties for participating in document fraud entails fines of from $3,200 to $6,300.

    In determining the amount of the penalty, The Department of Homeland Security considers the size of the business, the good faith of the employer, the seriousness of the violation, and history of any prior violations. I presume that any investigation would entail the services of agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the investigative arm of DHS. 

    I am skeptical of any claim that this federal statute is being regidly enforced, or for that matter, has ever been. 

    Other bits of information provided by handbook M-275: students from foreign countries who qualify, could receive an Employment Authorization Document from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Academic students who have received a bachelors, masters or doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, may apply for 17-month extensions on temporary status for legal employment in the USA.

    Furthermore, a federal immigration judge may rule on an alien's temporary protection status, or judge them to be a lawful permanent resident (usually pertains to a judicial determination of their being at risk if returned to their nation of origin), at which time USCIS is allowed to issue an Employment Authorization Card. 

    If you wish to comment, return to the eMail with a link to this page and click on the "Reply" button on your browser.

-Phil Richardson, Observer and Storyteller.


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