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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

EMPLOYERS NEED TO PREPARE FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW. The Bush Administration has proposed two new reforms to insure that employers are employing workers who are authorized to work in the US. First, they have proposed that employers be allowed to keep I-9 employment authorization forms in electronically in digitized form. This would save space and also aid in searching them. Second, they have proposed new procedures for employers setting forth their duties and responsibilites when they receive "Social Security mismatch" letters, indicating that their employees social security numbers and names do not match with their account. The regulations will establish safe habor procedures for employers. However, they will also target employers for enforcement procedures if they repeatedly receive the mismatch letters. Accordingly, employers should be conducting internal I-9 audits at this time to ensure that their employees are authorized to be employed in the US before they are audited by the government. Hopefully, Immigration reform will be approved this year and they will be able to legalize those workers whose documents are not appropriate. However, if a new law creating a temporary worker is not approved, they must be prepared to deal with the increased workplace enforcement which is expected. For further information regarding these matters, contact ELI KANTOR at (310)274-8216; email dreli173@aol.com

Monday, June 12, 2006

Employers Need to Prepare for Immigration Reform Now

EMPLOYERS NEED TO PREPARE FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW. According to Immigration and Employment Attorney, ELI KANTOR, Employers need to start preparing for Immigraition Reform now. Regardless of what the final immigration reform bill looks like or even if no bill passes at all, one thing is certain - there will be increased enforcement of employer sanctions. Just as the IRS made all employers into deputy tax collectors, Immigration is making employers deputy immigration inspectors, by requiring them to complete form I-9 for all employees and also by now requiring them to verify the accuracy of their employees' social security numbers when they receive "mismatch letters" from the social security administration. Enforcement of employer sanctions has already increased and will increase substantially. Therefore, employers should do preventative I-9 audits to verify that they have accurate and complete I-9 forms for all of their employees. For further information regarding I-9 audits, contact Eli Kantor, Esq. at (310) 274-8216

Beverly Hills Immigration Law

POSSIBLE HOUSE-SENATE COMPROMISE. As previously reported, the two differing immigration reform bills are miles apart. The House bill being "enforcement only", whereas the Senate addresses all 3 issues: 1) Securing the borders; 2) guest worker and 3) a "path to citizenship" for the estimated 12 million undocumented workers already here. The bill is now in the House-Senate Conference Committee where the parties are attempting to reach a compromise solution to this complex issue. It appeared that since the approaches were diametrically opposed to one another that it would be impossible to reach a compromise, since the House has been insisting upon "securing our borders first". However, now a possible compromise solution is being floated whereby first the "securing our borders" and "employer enforcement" would go into effect first, then after the secretary of Homeland Security certified to Congress that "the borders had been secured" and that "there was a system in place for employers to electronically verify employees work authorization status", the guest worker and the legalization portions of the immigration reform bill would go into effect. It is a potential creative solution to resolving an impasse. Stay tuned for further developments.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

EMPLOYERS NEED TO PREPARE FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW On Thursday, May 25, 2006, in a historic vote, the U. S. Senate passed the most signifcant immigration reform law in 20 years. This comprehensive immigration reform bill addresses 3 difficult problems: 1) securing our borders; 2) creating a temporary guest worker program to address labor shortages; and 3) what to do with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country. (The details of the bill our explained in depth in my May 26th post, infra.)

The bill now goes to the House/Senate conference committee where it must be reconciled with the House bill which was past last December. The House bill only deals with the first issue: "securing our borders". It is "enforcement only". The rationale behind it is that first we need to reassert control over our borders. It proposes to build a 700 mile fence along the border with Mexico, adding 6,000 new border patrol agents, and it makes "unlawful presence in the US" into a felony. It also calls for more "interior enforcement" that is cracking down on employers, who employ undocumented workers. It raises the maximum fine for knowingly employing an undocumented worker from $10,000 to $40,000 and it includes criminal sanctions for repeat violators. The Senate version also calls for stiffer enforcement in the workplace, doubling the penalties for employers from $10,000 to $20,000.

At this time, it is uncertain what the final immigration reform bill will look like or whether it will pass at all this year. However, one thing is certain - there will be more enforcement in the workplace, with or without a new law. Right now, due to all of the political pressure, Immigration has already started to enforce the existing laws more vigorously. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all employers to conduct a "preventative internal I-9 audit" now, before they are audited by the government. Employers are required by law to complete a Form I-9, Employment Verification Form, for all of their employees at the time of hire, certifying that they have reviewed the employees documents and that they are authorized to work in the US. This is required for all employees, even native born US citizens. Further, if an employee's work authorization expires, the employer is required to fill out a new I-9 form with the updated information. Failure to do so may subject the employer to civil and criminal penalties.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Immigration to expand premium processing to new categories

Immigration to expand premium processing to new categories. Immigration has proposed expanding the use of premium processing to certain I-140's, I-539's and I-765's. As soon as the new rules have been finalized, I will post it.

H-1B Cap reached for fiscal year 2007

H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2007 - On June 1, 2006 Immigration announced that as of May 26, 2006, they had received sufficient petitions to exhaust the H-1B allocation for fiscal year 2007. What this means in practical terms is that unless Congress acts to increase the H-1B quota, as has been proposed in the Senate's recently passed Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, there will be no more new H-1B visas available until October 1, 2007. Stay tuned for further developments.