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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
August 2011
Immigration News Briefs ICE to Begin New Round of I-9 Audits

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a new round of I-9 audits will soon be underway. The government agency announced recently that it plans to audit the hiring records of 1,000 companies throughout the United States to verify the employment eligibility of workers. ICE had conducted similar reviews in February 2011; this current initiative will bring the total number of I-9 audits up to more than 2,000.

I-9 audits determine whether employees at companies are authorized to work in the United States. After ICE selects a company to audit, it will send a notice of inspection, which will include requests to review I-9 documentation, payroll records, immigration paperwork, SSA communications, details about contractors and other employment-related information. Typically, ICE asks for such material to be ready for review within three business days.

U.S. Mayors Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In late June, the United States Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for comprehensive national immigration reform. Sponsors of the bill included Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas. The members of the conference passed the resolution at the 79th Annual Conference of Mayors, held in Baltimore, Maryland.

The two sponsors of the bill both explained why it is necessary to enact immigration reform immediately.

Villaraigosa: “Today’s immigration law lacks accountability and responsibility, exploits undocumented workers, and undermines the American workforce. The system must be reformed now. We must embrace the DREAM Act and the millions of young people who would be given a pathway to citizenship with it. We must embrace AgJobs to ensure that agricultural workers can earn residency and stabilize their workforce. And we must provide a path to citizenship for the undocumented persons who meet strict requirements.”

Salinas: “For too long, comprehensive immigration reform has been held hostage to political posturing and special-interest wrangling and to the pervasive sentiment in Washington that tackling such a thorny and emotional issue is inherently bad politics.”

B-1 in Lieu of H-1B: Will this Useful Category Survive?

The visa category known as B-1 in lieu of H-1B is a lesser-known and frequently misunderstood option. This category permits foreign companies to send their employees to the United States temporarily, to perform duties related to their foreign employment. The B-1 in lieu of H-1B classification has become quite controversial in recent months, as a result of an investigation involving an Indian software company, Infosys. It is alleged that the company misused the B-1 category to place workers in ongoing IT consulting positions with U.S. employers, bypassing the worker-protection provisions of the H-1B program.

Allegations against the Indian software company have triggered demands from the U.S. Congress for either tighter regulation of B-1 visas, or for the elimination of the B-1 in lieu of H-1B category altogether. Given the investigation of the Indian software company, as well as the heated Congressional criticism of the B-1 in lieu of H-1B classification, it is an open question whether this visa will continue to be an option for employers. Employers utilizing the B-1 in lieu of H-1B classification should review their situations to confirm complete compliance with the requirements, and should explore appropriate alternatives, if needed in the future.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR AUGUST 2011

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01May04

01May04

2A

22Jul08

22Jul08

2B

01Jul03

01Jul03

3rd

22Aug01

22Aug01

4th

08Mar00

08Apr00

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Apr07

Current

3rd

01Jun02

01Nov05

Other

01Jun02

01May05

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 



 

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