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Staying Compliant With Immigration Laws

By Will Temby

Companies are increasingly looking for ways to create a diverse, skilled workforce. But with today’s complex immigration and labor laws, employers have to be careful to avoid violating laws at all stages of the employer/employee relationship.

Until the mid-1980s, businesses could hire illegal aliens with little legal consequence, resulting in a large influx of people from other countries coming to the United States to seek work.

Congress responded by enacting the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, representing the most significant change in U.S. immigration policy in decades. Under IRCA, employers are prohibited from hiring anyone who isn’t authorized to work in the United States. The administration and enforcement of IRCA now falls under the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Apprentice Personnel takes the responsibility of hiring and sending out authorized workers, including U.S. and foreign citizens, very seriously. Following IRCA rules without engaging in unlawful discriminatory practices is a priority for us. Our job is to take the burden off the employer, make sure the proper paperwork is done and workers are qualified.

IRCA mandates that employers examine certain documents from workers and complete a Form I-9. A valid Social Security card, a birth certificate, a foreign passport, a U.S. passport and permanent or temporary resident cards are some of the documents that a staffing agency is looking for when a potential employee comes in to seek work.

Once we have this information, we enter it into E-Verify, which is a free, Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security. The data provided by the worker is checked electronically against records contained in DHS and other government databases.

From time to time, documents that are acceptable to comply with the Form I-9 are changed or new rules are issued. Apprentice Personnel closely monitors the system for these revisions and ensures proper procedures are followed.

Finding a staffing agency that’s professional and understands the laws has become absolutely essential for success and longevity in today’s tough economy.

About the Author


Will Temby

Will has enjoyed a 20-year career in leadership positions in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the U.S. with the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Renaissance and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. Will received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2000-2007, he served as President and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Vice President-Special Projects for the University of Colorado Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Will is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Homeland Defense Foundation and former member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is married to Nan, has five wonderful children, and enjoys coaching, traveling, hiking, golfing and skiing.

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