Immigration enforcement is a major priority for the Trump Administration. Work site enforcement and I-9 audits and inquiries by ICE have been increasing and they will continue to increase. In addition to this, yet another new I-9 form was issued in 2017. All employers must use the new Form I-9 during the hiring process by September 18, 2017.
The newest version of the Form I-9 is dated in the bottom left corner, 07/17/17, with the expiration date of 08/31/2019 in the top left corner. On September 18, 2017, use only the Form I-9 that contain these two dates, and make sure the I-9 is fully complete. Section 1 must be completed on the first day an employee works for you.
The changes to the new I-9 Form do not stop with the form itself - there were changes made to both the Form I-9 and the Form I-9 instructions. All employers should make sure to post the new Form I-9 instructions on the wall where you have your required employment posters and have the List A, B and C page available for employees when they complete the I-9 form.
Let’s look at the silver lining! This change in the form may be a good reminder to conduct an internal I-9 audit and I-9 training to help ensure proper compliance with the immigration, employment verification, and E-Verify requirements, unless you’ve already done so when the (last) new I-9 form was released earlier this year.
It pays to take the time to ensure your I-9s are in compliance as the fines have increased significantly. Companies who previously had one audit are likely on the list for a second. Those companies who already experienced a second I-9 audit and violations were noted, are likely to see a third audit.
Whew! Who knew immigration requirements and paperwork could be so dynamic?