New Rules on Immigration Enforcement Could Affect Your Business
With new rules on immigration enforcement by the Trump administration in play, now is the time for restaurant operators to make sure worker I-9 documentation is in order.
The Department of Homeland Security on Feb 21 issued orders outlining President Trump’s plan for immigration enforcement, instructing agents to identify, detain and quickly deport all undocumented immigrants they encounter, including those that have not been convicted of a crime.
The correct I-9 documentation
That means it’s more important than ever for restaurant operators to make sure their I-9 documentation is complete and accurate.
Restaurant operators also need to make sure they’re using the correct version of the I-9 form. On Jan. 22, a new version of the I-9 went into effect, which now also includes a digital “smart form” that can be filled out on a computer, printed and signed, rather than filled out by hand.
Employers, be prepared and plan ahead
Educate yourself before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows up. Know whether you can demand a search warrant, and how to monitor agents to be sure they don’t go beyond the scope of that warrant, and whether employees have the right to remain silent.
Auditors will first look for errors on the forms, which opens employers up to possible fines. They will also check information against government databases to make sure social security numbers check out, for example.
Have written policies on immigration compliance in place, as well as procedures for how to handle a surprise audit, or even a raid in which workers could be taken away.
We don’t know what the future holds which makes it even more vital to be prepared.