Proposed Immigration Reform Legislation and E-Verify
The discussion about Congress possibly passing immigration reform is a major topic right now. Many expect that in 2013, Congress will pass some version of immigration reform (i.e., providing legal status to individuals who are currently residing in the U.S. without legal authorization). In looking at what is currently in the pipeline, some of the proposed bills and related discussions point to a mandatory requirement that all employers enroll in E-Verify or possibly some other version of E-Verify. Presently, employers may voluntarily enroll in E-Verify, and certain employers, who contract with the government, are required to enroll in the program.
Although nothing is final, it is important to be prepared to transition into any possible E-Verify requirement. While we wait for Congress’ decision on immigration reform, employers should continue to comply with the immigration laws that apply to their business.
Employers are required to comply with all Form I-9 requirements and cannot employ any individual unauthorized to work. If your I-9 compliance is in need of review, you should contact your attorney who specializes in I-9 compliance. Doing so will prepare you and your company to transition into any immigration reform that becomes law.
Daniel N. Ramirez is a named partner at Monty & Ramirez LLP. He is also board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Specialization and has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine.