Washington Attempts to "Modernize" Immigration


By: Kelly Eisenlohr-Moul
Political pundits much savvier than me are predicting that immigration “reform” likely will pass in the next year.  Below is a preview of the provisions employers can expect to see:

  • Mandatory E-Verify: Although Georgia already requires participation for businesses with 11 or more employees, a federal mandate is almost certain
  • Increased Civil Penalties Associated with Employment Verification Violations
    • Knowingly hiring unauthorized workers: $3500-$25,000 per worker!
    • Failing to comply with document verification: $500-$8000 per worker!
  • Reformed Social Security Administration Initiatives
    • Clarifies appropriate response to “no-match” letters 
  • Enhanced Antidiscrimination Provisions
    • Expands prohibitions on discrimination based on national origin or citizenship status
    • Allows EEOC to refer charges to the Department of Justice, which is much more aggressive in their enforcement 
  • Increased visa opportunities for qualified foreign workers
    • More opportunities for H1B and other specialty occupation immigrants 

As most employers in Georgia are already obligated to use E-Verify, consider these steps to get ahead of federal immigration reform:

  • Modify your EEO and anti-retaliation policies to include national origin and citizenship status; and
  • Take a free webinar from USCIS on I-9 and/or E-Verify compliance