Feds unveil new I-9 form & more enforcement

If you haven’t thought much about that stalwart of HR paperwork—the Employment Eligibility Verification, or I-9 form—this is the summer to scrutinize your compliance.

That’s because the Trump administration has just released a new version of the I-9 that you’ll need to begin using by Sept. 18. Plus, the feds last month confirmed the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to focus on civil and criminal investigations—a move that could triple the number of I-9 workplace audits conducted by the agency.

THE NEW FORM: The new I-9 is dated 07/17/17 in the lower left corner, and it replaces a version of the form dated 11/14/2016. Following a two-month grace period, you must start using the new I-9 form by Sept. 18.

This new interactive PDF still contains all the “smart I-9” features that were unveiled earlier this year to help employers reduce errors and complete the form more easily. The only changes to this new version are a few minor changes to acceptable documents and other technical changes.

Read more about the changes and find a link to the new I-9 form at www.theHRSpecialist.com/newI-9.

HEIGHTENED ENFORCEMENT: Just last month, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Worksite Enforcement Investigations Unit confirmed that ICE will be adding those 10,000 new agents. I-9 audits are a key weapon in ICE’s search for noncompliant employers.

Plus, employers should prepare for the likelihood that Trump will follow through on his promise to require mandatory nationwide use of the E-Verify system, which electronically screens new hires for U.S. work eligibility.  

“The new administration wants employers to be a partner in their immigration efforts,” says attorney John Fay of I-9 consulting firm LawLogix. “Now more than ever, employers need to focus on their I-9 and E-Verify compliance initiatives in light of the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration violations.”