How’s your I-9 Compliance?

One of the issues discussed at this year’s state unit meetings was that of the new I-9 Employment eligibility form. The I-9 form must be filled out by every new hire or rehire before going to work and they must present documents proving they are eligible to work by the 3rd day of work. This seems simple enough but the I-9 is one form that has employed countless attorneys and whole careers have been made defending employers and keeping employers in compliance with this deceptively simple form.

In addition to the new form coming out, another reason to pay attention to this form is concern among employment law attorneys that the Trump administration will pick up where the Bush administration left off with workplace raids and employer audits. We haven’t seen that much yet and no gins that I know of have been subject to USCIS audit but there has been a slight increase in the number of employer audits in a number of industries. They aren’t widespread but it is typical for Republican administrations to be a bit more tough on illegal immigration and with the rhetoric during the campaign, we should be on guard.

The USCIS has created some decent resources in its I-9 Central Page. This is a page that is dedicated to helping employers and employees complete the I-9 properly and helping to Continue reading

E-Verify Begins Monday in Two States

Monday is a big day for small employers in two of our states. North Carolina and Georgia both have the final phases of their immigration control laws kicking into effect. Both will require the use of E-Verify for the smallest groups of employers.

In Georgia, employers with 10 or more employees on January 1, should begin using E- Continue reading

Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The Senate has passed S. 744 the much anticipated Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill. The 1200 page bill passed by a 68-32 margin. The vote was mostly down party lines with an estimated 14 Republicans voting for and no Democrats voting against. The actual vote roll call will be linked to when it is available.

The measure now moves to the House. The nearly 70 vote clear majority is hoped will send a message to the House that it should pick up the bill and pass Immigration reform this by the end of the year. It is still unclear if the House will actually pick up the Senate bill or will move a comprehensive reform bill of their own. A third option will be for the House to take up individual portions of immigration reform and pass them as separate disconnected bills. All of these are possible. The House’s own Gang of Eight is reported to be bringing a comprehensive bill forward but no solid details have been leaked. Meanwhile several committees have been holding hearings on individual immigration reform measures. It may not be until September before we know which way the House is going.

Stay Tuned

Immigration Measure Passes 3 Key Votes

The Senate’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) S 744 passed three key votes that all but assures final passage on Friday. The votes today were on a waiving of the Senate’s budget rules that would have prevented the Border Surge from being able to come to a vote. The Waiver passed 68-30. The second vote was on the so called “Border Surge”.

The Border Surge amendment by Senators Corker and Hoeven increases the number of border patrol agents to nearly 40,000 from the current 20,000, it completes an additional 700 miles of border fence, adds electronic measures for those entering and leaving the

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What a Week

Well, if you had told me that one of the two major bills we’ve been watching in Washington would have been voted down and one would be looking good for passage I would have totally been backward on which was which. The House version of the Farm Bill failed yesterday on by a 195 to 234 margin.

Once debate on the bill began, and well over 100 amendments were filed, most expected the debate to go well into next week. Late Wednesday, an agreement was reached on what amendments would be taken up and the order. Most knew the vote was going to be very close. Democrats began to solidify against the bill due to a large cut in the SNAP program. Republicans were mostly happy with the bill with several feeling the cuts weren’t high enough in SNAP and some not seeing enough reform in crop subsidies. A handful of last hour debates and votes seemed to seal the deal and sink the bill. Amendments dealing with Sugar, Dairy and “work for foodstamps” swung some Republicans and a number of Democrats away from the bill.

Where do we go from here? That seems to be the trillion dollar question. While not typical, the bill can be brought up again. Would it have the amendments it gained in the past week? Would it start fresh with the Ag Committee’s version? No one knows. Technically, Continue reading

Farm Bill Fails to Pass House

After the Senate passed a Bill last year, the House failed to get around to their own. Now after nearly 2 yrs of work, the House has failed to passed a bill this afternoon. The House Farm Bill HR 1947 was defeated by a vote of 195 to 234.

Most farm bills are less partisan and more regional in contention. Not this one. The Continue reading