Thursday, June 7, 2007

Immigration Reform Bill Would Overhaul Employee Verification Process


Everyone should be familiar with the I-9 form. With that form, employers simply review certain identification documents submitted by job applicants to assure the government they appear to be valid and the person appears to be authorized to work in the U.S. An immigration reform bill pending in the Senate, however, would radically overhaul that system by requiring employers to verify electronically the identity of all U.S. workers, no matter how long they have been at their job. Employers who don't comply would be subject to fines, while employees rejected by the government database would have to challenge its accuracy to keep their jobs. If the bill becomes law, employers would have 18 months to comply for all new hires, and three years for all current employees. Not surprisingly, the proposal has drawn complaints from business and civil liberties groups. I will let everyone know if and when this bill becomes law.

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