G8’s Immigration Bill Shakes Up E-Verify, I-9 and More!

The Senate’s “Gang of Eight” Senators have released its comprehensive immigration reform bill entitled, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.” Congress wants to implement the E-Verify program on a mandatory, national basis and the bill proposes employers enroll according to a specified timeline, which is contingent on DHS publishing regulations. The bill also incorporates protections for workers that are lacking in the existing E-Verify System. Individuals who wish to appeal a non-confirmation would finally, under this bill, have a procedure by which to do so, by filing an administrative appeal. This bill carves out protections for employers from liability based on good faith reliance on E-Verify results. To ensure E-Verify will increasingly become more accurate, the bill would require the General Accounting Office to conduct an annual study on E-Verify’s accuracy, efficiency, integrity and impact. There’s also a possibility of future changes to the current Form I-9. Civil penalties will become effective one year after the date of enactment of the bill and the bill is serious about punishing employers. Therefore, partnering with experience counsel to ensure your organization properly understands and complies with any enacted law will be critical.

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