Why Employers Must Verify Employment Authorization and Identity of New Employees
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
In 1986, Congress reformed U.S. immigration laws. These reforms, the result of a bipartisan effort, preserved the tradition of legal immigration while seeking to close the door to illegal entry. The employer sanctions provisions, found in section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), were added by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). These provisions further changed with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996.
Employment is often the magnet that attracts individuals to reside in the United States illegally
The purpose of the employer sanctions law is to remove this magnet by requiring employers to hire only individuals who may legally work here: citizens and nationals of the United States, lawful permanent residents, and aliens authorized to work.
To comply with the law, you must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person you hire, complete and retain a Form I-9 for each employee, and refrain from discriminating against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship.
Form I-9 helps employers to verify individuals who are authorized to work in the United States.
- Handbook For Employers (pdf) – provides guidance on how to properly complete Form I-9, and answers frequently asked questions about the law as it relates to Form I-9 (Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Frequently Asked Questions about I-9 Compliance (Source: Peng & Weber, U.S. Immigration Lawyers)
- What You Don’t Know About Employment Eligibility Verification May Cost You (Source: Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, an international law firm)
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