Lawful immigrants account for three-quarters of the foreign-born population in the United States, but many employers worry about unintentionally hiring undocumented immigrants. While seeking immigration help from professional immigration lawyers is the best way to expedite the process for prospective employees, it’s also up to you as the employer to navigate the hiring process properly. With that in mind, here are just a few tips that can help any employer prevent hiring illegal or undocumented immigrants.
Complete I-9 Forms Carefully
First, it’s essential to complete your I-9 forms carefully with every new hire. Make sure you go through the re-verification process so you know when the employee’s eligibility to work in the United States will be expiring. You’ll also have to routinely audit your I-9 forms. While this is typically the best prevention method, it isn’t foolproof. For this reason, the federal government offers a number of free and voluntary programs.
Consider Voluntary Programs
Approximately 43.3 million foreign-born people live in the United States, and as mentioned, there are a number of voluntary programs employers can participate in that helps them distinguish legal workers from those that are undocumented. One frequently used services is called the Social Security Administration (SSA) Number Verification Service. Here’s how it works:
“Once an employee submits a Social Security number for I-9 documentation or for payroll tax withholding, an employer may contact SSA to verify that the number is a valid one and matches the name the employee is using. If the employer finds a mismatch, it would direct the employee to resolve the discrepancy within a reasonable period in order to continue to be employed,” writes the Society for Human Resource Management.
Another program employers can take advantage of is the E-Verify Program, which involves the use of an automated system to carry out verification checks of the SSA and the Department of Homeland Security databases. The system checks to make sure all new hires are authorized for employment.
Immigrants make up approximately 13% of the total U.S. population, and the hiring process can indeed be complex. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer to provide immigration help and employer insight. For more information about immigration attorneys, contact Reeves Immigration Law Group.