In late December, this blog reported that federal immigration officials had audited more than 3,000 companies for I-9 compliance in enforcing business immigration laws. Those I-9 compliance audits were part of a policy change in recent years in how the government generally conducts workplace immigration enforcement, according to a report issued Monday by a non-partisan Washington think tank, the Migration Policy Institute.
Immigration reform has been a hot topic in the media this year. Immigration policy issues have also grabbed headlines, as stories have arisen over the Deferred Action program for young immigrants and the federal immigration policy in deportation and removal proceedings known as prosecutorial discretion.
Four United States immigration programs are scheduled to automatically end September 30 if Congress does not act. The four programs include the EB-5 investor visa program, the E-Verify program, Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program and a specialty visa waiver program for doctors, known as the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program.
More than a year ago this blog reported a story of the immigration I-9 audit directed toward the Chipotle restaurant chain. At the time, Chipotle was one of the largest companies to fall under the scrutiny of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement under an I-9 compliance audit. The company eventually let go hundreds of workers after the ICE I-9 raid.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not said much recently regarding audits of companies in relation to I-9 compliance issues. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to use the so-called "silent raids" to enforcement immigration employment laws.
The story of one undocumented immigrant from Mexico reads like some kind of odd application of the Perfect Storm. Multiple forces have stacked up against the man's very survival. The story does not come from here in Florida, but from the West Coast. An immigration I-9 audit of the company where the man worked resulted in the immigrant finding himself without a job. The man has been undergoing dialysis for roughly eight years due to kidney failure. Doctors say that the life-expectancy of someone in his condition is about six years.
In the last post, this blog began a discussion about the aftermath of the Chipotle restaurant chain's I-9 audit, where immigration officials reportedly found hundreds of workers who may not have had proper employment eligibility verification documentation.
Last year, immigration officials conducted a number of so-called "silent raids" on businesses across the country. A silent raid involves an audit of a company's I-9 compliance records as opposed to physical raids on a location. This blog reported stories on each type of raid in previous posts, including the employment eligibility verification audit of Chipotle restaurants and an ICE raid at the Lake Nona Veteran's Hospital.
This blog has previously reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has conducted several waves of audits of businesses in Florida, and nationwide, concerning I-9 compliance records. Employment eligibility verification is required of Florida businesses, even amidst the national public debate about the use of the federal E-Verify system.
It is not exactly a new twist, but 16 Latin American nations have asked to join a federal lawsuit that seeks to block the state immigration law in South Carolina. Why isn't it a new twist? Mexico asked to join a lawsuit seeking to challenge the Arizona immigration law last June. This time the number of nations is much larger.