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Frequently Asked Questions
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I-9 Compliance

In order to verify an employee's status as eligible to work in the United States, employers must collect information from new hires and then fill out an I-9 form (employment eligibility form). This form is meant to ensure employers that they are hiring legal workers and ensure the federal government of this same fact. Every individual that is hired at a company and begins to receive compensation for their work must have an I-9 form completed. According to the law, employees must have an I-9 filled out within three days of beginning employment at a company. Many employers run into questions regarding I-9 forms: "How do I know my employee is giving me truthful information?" or "How can I be sure that I filled out the I-9 form correctly?" These questions and more can be answered by an El Paso immigration attorney from Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A..

Information for Employers

Due to current immigration issues and the general climate of the citizenship process in our nation, many individuals may present fraudulent information to employers in order to gain employment in the United States. The question is, does the onus fall on the employer or the employee? The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has long said that the responsibility is the employers. This means that employers may be penalized for hiring employees that were not legally allowed to work in the U.S. This can happen whether the employer hired an immigrant knowingly or not. For this reason, many employers are now beginning to use E-verify. This is a computerized system developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. How can it be used? Employers can log in and search databases in order to determine if the information they received from their employees is truthful or fraudulent. This can protect employers from liability issues later on.

What kind of fraudulent information might an employer receive? In order for an employer to fill out an I-9 form for each of their employees, they must receive approved documentation that is outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These documents are broken up into three lists: A, B and C. Employers may accept one document from List A or they may hire an employee who presents one document from List B as well as one document from List C. Below are the documents from List A:

  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign Passport (with temporary I-551 stamp or notation)
  • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
  • Foreign Passport WITH I-94 or I-94A

For a complete list of I-9 compliance documents, please visit the USCIS website.

Document Fraud & Legal Hiring Practices

With the prevalence of document fraud in today's society, are employers expected to be "documentation experts," so to speak?

Here is what Attorney Christian Zeller of our firm has to say,

You do not have to be a document expert, but rather you must act in good faith because good-faith compliance remains the best statutory affirmative defense against a "knowingly hired" charge. The Handbook specifically states that if documents reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and relate to the person presenting them, the employer must accept the documents.

The handbook being referred to is the M-274 handbook can help employers hire employees in good faith. This can assist in eliminating employer guilt if it is discovered that they hired a worker that was not legally allowed to be employed in the United States. At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., we believe that if an employer believes or comes to realize that any of their employees may not be legally working in the United States, they must take corrective action as soon as possible. Our firm can assist employers in legal hiring as well as assist individuals that are looking to get employed in the United States. Don't hesitate to contact our firm today!

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Maney Gordon - El Paso Immigration Attorney
Located at 1535 Hawkins Boulevard, Suite A, El Paso, TX 79925.
Phone: (888) 630-4882.
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