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DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance

DHS announced that it has extended the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic by an additional 30 days. These flexibilities include prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under section 274A of the INA and an additional 30-day extension for NOIs served in March 2020. DHS also provided information regarding acceptable documents for Form I-9 verification of lawful permanent residents.

Court Upholds $305K Penalty Against Employer Who Violated INA §274A

Where the ALJ had found the employer petitioner liable for 504 violations of INA §274A, which requires employers to verify that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States, and had assessed a total penalty of $305,050, the Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review as to one violation, because the charge was untimely under the statute of limitations. The court denied the petition as to the other 503 violations, concluding that the petitioner was not entitled to good faith defenses, and also denied the petition as to the ALJ’s summary determination of the penalty amount, concluding that the petitioner’s ability to pay was not a material issue of fact that would preclude such determination.

USCIS Message: Current Form I-9 Valid Until January 21, 2017

I-9 form has changed for employers, but you can continue to use the old I-9 form for a few more months before the new form is in effect.

Court Upholds Finding That Petitioner Falsely Represented Himself as a U.S. Citizen on a Form I-9

The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review of the denial of the Tanzanian petitioner’s adjustment application, upholding the BIA’s finding that the petitioner intended to falsely represent himself as a U.S. citizen on his I-9 employment eligibility verification form. The court further found that this action constituted a non-waivable violation under INA §212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I). In addition, the court held that the proceedings were not closed when the IJ admitted the petitioner’s I-9, and that the form’s admission did not violate the petitioner’s due process rights.
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AP: Lawyers Challenge Texas Law on Harboring Immigrants
The Associated Press reports that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fundfiled a federal lawsuit on Monday challenging part of a Texas border security bill that could allow state authorities to target shelters and landlords for harboring undocumented immigrants. The bill, known as HB 11, was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott last year, and provides that individuals who profit from, encourage, or induce a person to enter or stay in the country illegally “by concealing, harboring, or shielding that person from detection” can be charged with various felony degrees. Jonathan Ryan, AILA member and Executive Director of RAICES, a CARA Project

I-9 Proposed Changes

USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register on proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Comments will be accepted until January 25, 2016. USCIS stated in a news alert that many of the proposed changes to Form I-9 are intended to help reduce technical errors and help customers complete the form on their computer after they have downloaded it from USCIS’s website.

Said on an I-9 you were a USC? That could prevent you from ever adjusting status.

The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that substantial evidence supported the Board of Immigration Appeals’ finding that the petitioner falsely claimed U.S. citizenship on a Form I-9 when he applied for a job in 2009. Accordingly, the court found that the petitioner was inadmissible under INA §212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I), and was thus ineligible for adjustment of status.

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