Friday, November 20, 2009

1,000 more employers being investigated

I have blogged before about the current administration's increased enforcement of immigration laws at worksites. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced yesterday that it had issued NOIs (Notices of Inspection) to another 1,000 employers nationwide. View the press release here.

The audits involve a detailed analysis of the employers' Forms I-9. This form should be completed for every employee on hiring, and it verifies the employee's identity and work authorization.   

The press release also provides statistics since the increased enforcement started last April:
  • 45 businesses and 47 individuals debarred;

    • 0 businesses and 1 individual were debarred during same period in FY 2008.

  • 142 Notices of Intent to Fine (NIF) totaling $15,865,181;

    • ICE issued 32 NIFs totaling $2,355,330 in all of FY 2008.

  • 45 Final Orders totaling $798,179;

    • ICE issued eight Final Orders totaling $196,523 during the same period in FY 2008.

  • 1,897 cases initiated;

    • ICE initiated 605 cases during the same period in FY 2008.

  • 1,069 Form I-9 Inspections;

    • ICE initiated 503 Form I-9 Inspections in all of FY 2008.

In July, ICE issued 654 NOIs to businesses nationwide in the largest operation of its kind before today - part of ICE's effort to audit businesses suspected of using illegal labor.

Statistics resulting from the 654 audits announced in July:
  • ICE agents reviewed more than 85,000 Form I-9s and identified more than 14,000 suspect documents - approximately 16 percent of the total number reviewed.
  • To date, 61 NIFs have been issued, resulting in $2,310,255 in fines. In addition, 267 cases are currently being considered for Notices of Intent to Fine (NIFs).
  • ICE closed 326 cases after businesses were found to be in compliance with employment laws or after businesses were served with a Warning Notice in expectation of future compliance.

The New York Times published an article on this subject today.  It notes that
The audits, however, have resulted in large-scale dismissals at the hands of employers, leaving the government one step removed.

In September, American Apparel, a clothing maker with a large garment factory in downtown Los Angeles, fired about 1,800 immigrant employees — more than a quarter of its work force — after a federal audit turned up irregularities in identity documents the workers presented when they were hired. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

H-1B cap count updated

USCIS has updated the H-1B cap count. As of November 6, 2009, CIS has received approximately 54,700 cases against the regular (non-Master's) H-1B cap. For more information, see the previous blog posts here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

December 2009 Visa Bulletin released

The US Department of State has released the new Visa Bulletin for December 2009. In family-based categories, there is very slight movement forward, but just by a few weeks or months in most categories.

Employment-based categories remain "Current" for all 1st preference applicants, and for 2nd preference from Mexico, Philippines, and countries other than India and China. 3rd preference and other categories are mostly unchanged from the November and October bulletins.  The only changes are that India EB-3 and 'other worker" categories move forward by 10 days.