I-9 Compliance Bulletin: Immigration Reform
President Obama’s Executive Actions: What They Mean for Employers
President Obama’s recent executive actions could allow as many as 5 million undocumented workers to stay in the U.S. if they meet certain conditions. The actions will expand the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and extend the period of DACA and work authorization from 2 years to 3 years. Additionally, the President will create a new program for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents that would allow for deferred action, provided they pass specific background checks. This program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, (DAPA), would also create a 3-year employment authorization window for individuals who meet the residency and parental guidelines.
President Obama’s plan also aims to increase the number of green cards available for skilled and professional workers. In addition, the administration intends to authorize employment for spouses of professional workers in the H-1B visa category who have permanent immigrant visas approved.
The impact of these actions upon employers could be substantial. Improvements to the employment-based immigration programs will allow individuals with approved employment-based visa petitions, awaiting word that their visas can be issued, to file an adjustment of status application. This should result in improved portability of talent and the ability to promote that talent more freely.
Enforcement efforts are likely to be stepped up in concert with these new executive actions, so employers will want to closely monitor developments to deal with the upcoming changes. Employers should closely examine their processes, employee handbooks and policies so they can adequately deal with any employees looking to avail themselves of the opportunities provided. Clarification will likely be available in the coming months, so stay tuned, further news will be forthcoming.
Employers should continuously monitor the compliance landscape to keep abreast of regulations and enforcement positions that could affect their I-9 processes. Equifax Workforce Solutions can help simplify your best practices approach through an easily-managed technology platform that helps ensure compliance across the jurisdictions in which you do business. To receive more information on how Equifax Workforce Solutions can assist your company in creating a strong culture of compliance with your I-9 processes, please contact Pete Krieshok at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line of “I-9 Compliance Bulletin.”
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