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3 Tips for Hiring Immigrants

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on September 09, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When police departments low on officers are turning to green-card holders to fill their ranks, you know many small businesses are doing the same. But when the White House is cracking down on hiring undocumented workers, you also know you need to be careful.

In some states, employers who hire undocumented workers could lose their business licenses, so there is even more of a burden to stay on the right side of employment laws. Here are 3 tips for hiring immigrant employees.

1. E-Verify Your Hires

E-Verify is an online service in which employers can confirm the employment eligibility of new hires. The use of E-Verify is legally required in some states, and even employers where it is not mandatory may find the program useful.

Employers can enroll their company in E-Verify and then compare an applicant's data against government records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to determine whether the applicant is eligible for employment. The service is free, and may save you from some costly headaches later.

2. I-9 All the Time

The I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form is required for all hires when they begin work. While employers don't have to submit the form to the government, they must keep it on file in case they are audited. When completing the form, employers must request and examine identity documents from an employee to determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and allow the employee to legally work in the U.S.

3. Don't Discriminate

Immigrants are protected under federal employment law and may not be discriminated against. And as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) points out, discrimination is not limited to the hiring process.

Make sure your business has policies in place prohibiting discrimination, harassment, or any other practice that could have adverse effects on immigrants, particularly those form specific national origin groups.

You may want to consult with an experienced immigration law attorney before making any hiring decisions regarding immigrants.

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