BLR News

3/23/2005 offers employers tips on immigration law compliance

Old Saybrook, CT – March 22, 2005 – News reports that the nation's undocumented immigrant population surged to 10.3 million last year prompts ("State HR Answers and Tools Online") to remind employers of the various—and often simple—steps they can take to comply with federal immigration law.

Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) employers must verify that individuals are eligible to work in the U.S. by having them fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification Form, known as Form I-9. Employers must also inspect the required supporting documents at the time of hiring.

Employers should follow these steps to make certain of USCIS compliance:

  1. Ensure that employees fully and properly complete Section 1 of Form I-9. That includes signing and dating the form.

  2. Ensure that employees present original documents to establish their identity and employment eligibility within three business days of the date employment begins if employment will last more than three days. (If they cannot produce the required documents by then, employees must produce receipts showing they have applied for the documents; they then must present the document within 90 days of hire.)

  3. Examine the original documents presented by employees and then fully complete Section 2 of Form I-9.

  4. Do not knowingly use, attempt to use, possess, obtain, accept, or receive any forged, counterfeit, altered, or falsely made documents.

  5. Keep Form I-9 for three years after the date employment begins or one year after the person's employment is terminated, whichever is later.
Editors at offer this advice in reaction to an analysis of government data issued Monday, March 21, 2005, by the Pew Hispanic Center, a private research group. The report says the population of undocumented residents in the U.S. increased by about 23 percent in the four-year period ending last March. also reminds employers of a new federal requirement to notify employees of recent changes in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). A government poster for meeting the requirements can be downloaded from

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