San Antonio Immigration Attorney Assisting in Employer Compliance with Immigration Law and Policy
As an employer, it is vital to the success of your business to establish and maintain compliance with U.S. immigration law. The Lozano Law Firm helps companies in San Antonio and neighboring areas from San Angelo to Laredo with their immigration compliance issues. Spend your time running your business, and let an experienced immigration attorney advise you on necessary policies and practices to make sure you are in compliance with immigration law regarding your employment practices.
Employer Compliance with I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification
Under U.S. law, it is illegal for an employer to knowingly hire an employee who is not authorized to work in the U.S. This authorization is documented by having a completed I-9 form on file for each employee. For any worker who was hired after November 6, 1986, regardless of whether he or she is a U.S. citizen or noncitizen, the employer must maintain a completed I-9 on file. This form does not have to be filed with USCIS, but it must be open to inspection upon request by an appropriate government authority.
There are a multitude of documents which can be accepted as verification of eligibility to work in the U.S., including a U.S. driver’s license or government ID Card, along with a Social Security card or birth certificate, or a U.S. or foreign passport accompanied by the appropriate notation or supporting documentation. The employer is responsible to examine these documents and verify that it has done so. Some documents must be presented in combination with others, and the law is constantly changing regarding what type of documents may be presented for verification of eligibility, so it is wise to consult regularly with an experienced immigration attorney.
Compliance with the I-9 employment eligibility verification is no joke. The penalty for failing to obtain and maintain an I-9 for every employee includes a fine of up to $16,000 per violation. While the I-9 is itself only a one-page form, the Handbook for Employers that the USCIS prints to provide guidance on completing the I-9 correctly is 65 pages long! Moreover, employers are responsible for reverification when work authorizations expire after a given period. Don’t take chances when so much is at stake. The Lozano Law Firm can make sure you have the proper policies in place to obtain, examine, maintain and reverify all verifications as needed.
Advice and Representation During ICE Audits and Investigations
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also known as HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) conducts audits and investigations to make sure employers are complying with U.S. immigration law. ICE utilizes the Forensic Documents Laboratory to make sure that the documents used for I-9 eligibility are indeed authentic. ICE also utilizes its Worksite Enforcement (WSE) investigations to comb through employers’ wage and hour records and workplace standards to make sure that employees, even illegal immigrants, are not being exploited. WSE investigations look at everything from document fraud and alien smuggling to substandard working conditions and wage and hour violations such as unpaid overtime or violation of the minimum wage requirement.
Establish and Maintain Employer Compliance with Help from an Experienced Immigration Lawyer in San Antonio
Let an experienced Texas immigration attorney from The Lozano Law Firm review your policies and procedures to make sure you are taking the right steps to stay in compliance with U.S. immigration law. If you have a question regarding a specific employee, or if your company is being audited or investigated by ICE or any other government agency, contact The Lozano Law Firm immediately for advice and assistance in preparing for the audit or for representation throughout the course of any investigation.