Immigration Resources from FELS
President Trump's recent immigration-related executive orders have created much confusion among workers and employers about exactly what they mean. A few things are clear at this point:
- Department of Homeland Security agencies, particularly the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, conducted large operations in January 2017 to apprehend aliens who they deem to be dangerous enough to detained and deported as soon as possible. These "sweeps" occurred in several areas around the country, including Southern California.
- The executive orders expand the classes of people who are not in the U.S. legally who enforcement agencies will focus on in their attempts to find and deport them. This include those who have committed crimes, those who have engaged in conduct that may be criminal, or those immigration agents deem to be a threat to the public interest or national security. This is a broad scope, and many worker advocates worry that this could include some who may have been convicted of relatively minor offenses like drunk driving or driving without a license.
- To our knowledge, the agencies have not begun worksite enforcement; ICE has not iniatied large-scale I-9 workplace audits, the Social Security Administration has not resumed sending employers "No-Match' letters, or undertaken any other administrative actions.
- DHS has announced plans to hire 10,000 new ICE agents and 5000 new Border Patrol agents.
Resources for Employees:
- American Civil Liberties Union has extensive information on their webpage for workers or others who feel threatened by the renewed emphasis on apprending expanded classes of aliens who did not previously seem to be in danger of apprehension.
- National Immigration Law Center resources: Know your rights – in Spanish: http://ncaeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Know-Your-Rights-Spanish-version.pdf; Know your rights – in English: http://ncaeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Know-Your-Rights-English.pdf; ICE Raids Preparedness – in Spanish: http://ncaeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/ICE-Raids-Preparedness-Spanish-version.pdf; ICE Raids Preparedness – in English: http://ncaeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/ICE-Raids-Preparedness-English-version.pdf
Resources for Employers:
Farm employers in California will want to take the time now to review their past practices in creating and storing Forms I-9 so documents can be provided to immigration officials if or when they start to conduct worksite audits, or other reviews of the validity of an employer's efforts to properly vet employees at the time of hire to ensure they are who they say they are, and they are elibigle to work in the U.S.
- You can review a memorandum summarizing the Trump Administration's immigration-related executive orders and view a powerpoint presentation on those executive orders, provided to FELS by the Washington, DC law firm CJ Lake;
- FELS has provided extensive resources for farm employers at this page.
- FELS has published an I-9 self-audit document, (use this version for 11-14-2016 revision of the Form I-9, which employers were required by begin using as of January 22, 2017) giving farm employers guidance on the proper creation, handling and storage of Forms I-9 at the time of hire, as well as practical information about the limits of audits, what erroneous or missing information you can correct on an existing I-9, and other useful information;
- Employers were required to use the newest version of the Form I-9 (Rev. 11/16/2016) as of January 22, 2017; you can find that form at this link from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
- USCIS also publishes a very thorough Form M-274 Handbook for Employers (Spanish) giving employers useful guidance about the proper use, completion, storage, and retention of Forms I-9, samples of legitimate identity and work eligibility documents, and guidance to help you avoid unintentionally descriminating against anyone on the basis of their immigration status.
- USCIS also maintains a helpful website with frequently-asked questions and general information about I-9-related issues, I-9 Central.
- I-9 Form Inspection Overview, from the USCIS website.
- The I.C.E. Man Cometh, Chris Schulte, CJ Lake.
Sometimes, I-9 issues may create the need for legal counsel; if you are a FELS Newsletter subscriber, you have access to the FELS Group Legal Services program, providing you an hour of free legal service per year, and a discounted rate on our legal service plan partner, Barsamian and Moody.