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Homeland Security Focuses Resources on Uncovering Exploitative Employers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memorandum today stating a focus on unscrupulous employers who exploit the vulnerability of undocumented workers.

In today's memorandum, the DHS stated that it will increase its efforts to:

  • Adopt immigration enforcement policies to facilitate agencies that enforce wage protections, workplace safety, and labor rights, among others;
  • Reduce the demand for illegal employment by delivering more severe consequences to exploitative employers and their agents;
  • Review policies that may impede alien employees, including victims of forced labor, from asserting their workplace rights; and
  • Ensure E-Verify is not manipulated to suppress unauthorized workers from reporting unlawful labor practices such as substandard wages and unsafe working conditions.

The memorandum also marks a cessation of mass worksite enforcement actions or raids, which occasionally result in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers. The DHS will instead refocus its efforts to punish exploitative employers instead of exploited workers.

While Form I-9 compliance is not listed explicitly in this memo, Form I-9 audits have historically been used to accomplish the goal of lessening the demand for illegal employment. Employers, especially large employers, are encouraged to ensure compliance with Form I-9 policies in the event of an audit.

Business Information Group is keeping an eye on this situation and will issue additional news items when a final policy is issued.

Source: Policy Statement 065-06

Posted: October 12, 2021


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