On March 17, 2010, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) entered into an information-sharing Memorandum of Agreement designed to streamline the agencies’ process for referring employer misuse of E-Verify. Under the MOA, OSC will receive referrals of potential discrimination that come to the USCIS Verification Division. In turn, the USCIS Verification Division will receive from OSC referrals of potential employer misuse of E-Verify that do not fall within OSC’s enforcement activities under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This agreement is intended to facilitate greater efficiency for each agency, and to ensure that workers’ claims of discrimination and abuse reach the proper agency. A link to the Memorandum of Agreement is here.
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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (ICE) has published a notice in the March 25, 2010 Federal Register inviting public comment on a proposed survey to determine whether employers are using the E-Verify program as intended, and to evaluate positive and negative impacts of the program in a mandatory environment. This noticed was previously published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2010, but no comments were submitted. The purpose of today’s notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments will be accepted until April 26, 2010. 75 FR 14455, March 25, 2010.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced three initiatives to strengthen the efficiency and accuracy of the E-Verify system. These initiatives include:
- A new agreement with the Department of Justice to streamline the adjudication process in cases of E-Verify misuse and discrimination;
- Informational telephone hotline for employees to provide a more timely, effective and seamless customer experience for workers seeking E-Verify information; and
- New training videos focusing on E-Verify procedures and policies, employee rights and employer responsibilities.
”DHS Unveils Initiatives to Enhance E-Verify,” Department of Homeland Security Press Release, 3/17/10.
The Department of Labor has cited a New Jersey computer consulting company for alleged violations of the H-1B provisions of federal immigration law. DOL alleges the company failed to pay the required prevailing wage to workers hired as computer analysts under the H-1B program. The Wage and Hour Division seeks $1.5 million in back wages due to 163 workers and over $400,000 as a civil monetary penalty for the willful violations. The company also faces a potential two-year debarment from the H-1B visa program. “US Department of Labor Seeks Nearly $1.9 Million in Back Wages From Newark NJ Computer Consulting Company Following Investigation,” DOL News Release, 2/18/10.