For Leon Rodriguez, the recently appointed Director of the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), the first challenging moment of his term was delivering the announcement of myE-Verify, an upgrade to a controversial online platform for verification of immigration status for employment purposes.
E-Verify was launched by Homeland Security towards the end of the George W. Bush administration. The original intent of E-Verify was twofold: One function was designed to prevent undocumented immigrants from getting jobs in the U.S. while another function was supposed to create electronic records of I-9 forms.
The new myE-Verify platform allows employers and job applicants to create their own online accounts, and it was created in response to the Legal Workforce Act. Of special note is a feature that reportedly allows individuals to lock their social security numbers so that others cannot use them fraudulently.
The Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification program has been in place since the late 1980s, and it is a mandatory step that all employers must comply with when hiring anyone in the U.S. One of the problems with Form I-9 is that it creates undue pressure on employers who feel as if they are discriminating their potential hires on the basis of national origin.
For most employers in the private sector, E-Verify is a voluntary program that does not replace the Form I-9 requirement. It is important for employers to know what they are required to do by law when it comes to hiring new workers; this explains the many questions that immigration law firms get whenever a new announcement about E-Verify comes up. An essential aspect of E-Verify to remember is that it does not do away with Form I-9 compliance.
Small business owners are the most likely to have questions about the employment verification process. It is important to remember that this process should only be initiated after a hiring decision has been made, which means that employers should not base their hiring decisions on whether an applicant can produce a U.S. passport and a driver’s license or a combination of USCIS documents. Voluntary participation in E-Verify does not preclude I-9 compliance nor does it make it easier; it is better to consult with immigration counsel before doing so.
Whether you are looking for information on temporary employment immigration or permanent residency through employment in San Diego, Kazmi and Sakata immigration law firm is here to help. Allow our professional and experienced lawyers to explain the application process and help you determine which is the best way to apply whether you are an employee or small business.
For more information or to request a free, no-obligation consultation, call 858-874-0711 and speak with one of our San Diego immigration attorneys today.