E-VERIFY USERS TAKE NOTE: USCIS DELETING OLDER RECORDS FROM E-VERIFY SYSTEM
E-Verify is notifying its participants that effective January 1, 2015, E-Verify transaction records more than 10 years old will be deleted from the system. Employers will no longer have access in E-Verify to cases created prior to December 31, 2004.
E-Verify has created a new Historic Records Report. If an employer wants a record of its cases over 10 years old, it must download the new Historic Records Report before December 31, 2014!
Employers who were not using E-Verify on or before December 31, 2004, do not need to download the report. E-Verify will delete annually those records that are more than 10 years old and employers will be advised each year when the Historic Records Report is available to download.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services advises E-Verify participants that the best practice is to record the E-Verify case verification number on the related Form I-9 and to retain the Historic Records Report with the Form I-9. Employers interested in obtaining their Historic Records Report should review E-Verify's Fact Sheet and Instructions and act quickly to download their report before 2015.
A LOOK BACK AT IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IN 2014: IS YOUR COMPANY AT RISK FOR ITS IMMIGRATION AND FORM I-9 PRACTICES?
Employers setting goals for 2015 should consider reviewing their immigration compliance practices and evaluating the need to conduct Form I-9 training and a self-audit of its Forms I-9. The continued escalation in worksite enforcement efforts by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and other government agencies means employers are at greater risk than ever of a government inspection and resulting liability.
According to recent statistics, in FY 2013, ICE made 452 criminal arrests tied to worksite enforcement investigations (including arrests of owners, managers, supervisors and human resources employees) and served 3,127 Notices of Inspection and 637 Final Orders, totaling more than $15.8M in administrative fines - up nearly $3.5M from FY 2012. ICE also debarred 277 business and individuals for administrative and criminal violations.
In 2014, employers in Kansas, Missouri and Colorado headlined ICE's achievements in worksite enforcement efforts. In January, three owners of a Kansas framing company were sentenced to more than a year in prison each after pleading guilty to conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens for commercial advantage. Each defendant admitted paying undocumented workers to perform work for their company.
Also in January, a Denver-based paving company was sentenced to pay nearly $185,000 in forfeiture of criminal proceeds for its criminal practice of hiring illegal aliens. In September, a Kansas City, Kansas restaurant manager plead guilty to conspiring to harbor illegal alien workers, and another restaurant manager in eastern Kansas was indicted on nine counts of hiring and harboring illegal aliens for the business. The investigators in both restaurant cases found that the employers were not properly completing Forms I-9 for their employees. The restaurant managers could each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.
But What About Insurance? Would Your Company's Liability for Immigration Violations be Covered?
In 2014, A Kansas federal judge ruled that an employer had no Employment Practices Liability (EPL) or Directors' and Officers' (D&O) insurance coverage for defense of an ICE criminal investigation, criminal charge, and resulting judgment (fine and forfeiture) stemming from the employer accepting a fraudulent identification document presented by an employee for Form I-9 purposes. The employer, McCalla Corp., was the owner of several McDonald's restaurants in Wichita, Kansas. In McCalla Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 2014 WL 1745647 (D. Kan. 2014), the court looked at the particular insurance policy and found that coverage did not exist, based on the express policy language and Illinois law, under which the alleged loss was uninsurable. Few such policies insure these types of matters for many reasons, however, coverage and policy language varies. The possibility that no coverage exists when ICE comes knocking is another reason to prioritize immigration compliance in 2015.