The Impact of Immigration on Hiring

Small business owners need to pay attention to immigration issues and closely scrutinize data offered by new hires to avoid suffering damages to their workforce, according to a panel of experts speaking at a conference Monday hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement office of the Homeland Security Department is focused on businesses dealing in construction, manufacturing, meatpacking, retailers and temporary placement agencies, among others, said immigration lawyer Nicole Lawrence Ezer.

"No one is safe at this point unless you're certain your I-9s are in order," she said. I-9s or "Employment Eligibility Verification" forms are required to be filed by all companies with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A new version of the I-9 (pdf) went into effect in January. The major change on the revised form eliminates five documents from a list of acceptable documents that would allow an individual to be employed in the United States.

No-match letters are notices sent by the Social Security Administration to employers and employees letting them know that an employee's name or Social Security number listed on a W-2 form does not match the agency's records. It is not a notice of wrongdoing.

There are 15 to 20 states that are considering immigration reform, said Mike Aitken of the Society for Human Resource Management, and small firms should be aware of what their states are doing. At least one, Wisconsin, is considering legislation requiring employers to act on no-match letters.

Additionally, on Jan. 1, 2008, Arizona joined Colorado, Georgia and Oklahoma in requiring all employers to use an online system called E-verify to confirm their employees' identity. However, as states develop a patchwork quilt of legislation, companies can encounter problems.

Claire Guthrie Gastanaga of CG2 Consulting noted that Illinois has a law that says employers can not use E-verify. The state had concerns over errors in the database and other issues, she said. The conflicting state regulations pose problems for states doing business in both Illinois and Arizona, for example. That is why business owners should push lawmakers to fix this mess, she said.

Resources: The National Employment Law Project offers 10 tips for employers (pdf) who receive "no-match" letters.

By Sharon McLoone |  February 7, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
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Most states already require something similar for company's that hire divorced fathers. For purposes of tracking and collecting child support most businesses are required comply with state family court orders. Indeed, many small businesses in Texas simply hired illegal aliens rather than comply with the additional paperwork and collection efforts required when hiring divorced American males. Funny no one seems to see the discrimination in such practices. Dads who don't earn enough to pay their child support go to jail. Illegal aliens depressing wages and getting hiring preferences because theres little or no paperwork are probably also not paying all the taxes they should.

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | February 7, 2008 10:36 AM

Illegal Aliens and Immigration is NOT the same thing. Immigrant is a legal status granted by a sovereign country. We have to many folks who do not know and are ignorant or outright deceivers, confusing illegal alien workers calling them illegal immigrants with immigrants. Criminals did NOT build America; Citizens and LEGAL immigrants built it. American's want an end to anarchy! This is NOT a Democrat, Republican, Independent issue. It's an American Issue.

Illegal aliens are criminals, those who hire them are criminals and those who aid-and-abet them are criminals.

Illegal aliens in America have NO rights. We are required by law to arrest and prosecute, deport them. (Title 8 U.S. Code) To report illegal aliens call the DHS National Hotline 1 866 DHS 2ICE. (1-866-347-2523)

No, matter your political party affiliation, and setting aside your thoughts on issues. We all need to remember what it is to be an American Citizen. We need to make sure our elected representatives obey their Oath of Office and keep their Oath of Allegiance. See Know whom you are voting for.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2008 2:41 PM

The country has spoken. It is not about the right or the left. Like in any other issue the middle ground is the best place to be and to co-exist . Illegal immigration is driven by many different factors. Granted, we have failed to enforce the immigration laws currently in place, and due to that procrastination, the country now has a serious security problem, but extreme measures won't solve anything. The problem is so big now that a simple answer just won't do. Get serious and rational, close the border, identify every single illegal immigrant in the country, deport drug dealers, convicts, people with DUIs, gang affiliated individuals and then work with the other honest, people that just want a chance..
Yes,is their fault for crossing, over staying, etc; but is also our fault for letting them do it.

Posted by: Vox populorum | February 7, 2008 2:59 PM

"Hiring illegal immigrants" is no different with these following things:

- Buying merchandise at Wal-Mart marked Made in China.
- Visiting website hosted outside USA.
- Reading website content written by foreigners outside USA.
- Asking people in India, China a question that will help your tasks.
- Continue talking with customer services after hearing their Indian accents.
- Eating cheap strawberries, because it must be picked by illegal people.
- Hey! Do you know for sure that your house was not built by illegal immigrants?

Posted by: Ray | February 8, 2008 12:26 AM

Businessmen (and therefore the economy) don't care, as far as work is concerned, if a person is legal or not. Businessmen are scared of the government, not the illegal immigrants. No main stream media is writting about this.

Posted by: Bill | February 8, 2008 8:56 AM

It comes often as a surprise when students in USA cannot identify where Canada or Mexico is. A human being, by no stretch of imagination can be "illegal" A person can be "undocumented" but never be "illegal" Therefore , guys, please dont be retarded and at least get some basic facts right.

It is very easy to wait on the platform for a long time, then board the train and stand at door saying "no space" to others.

The US is a train that originally belonged to the native Indians . It is not expected for people who dont know where Canada or Mexico is to understand this. Rest ALL of us are passengers on this train, some 3rd generation, some first generation, but passengers all the same. All have the same goal. Some have achieved it , some are trying to.

Be tolerant for those who are trying. The journey has to end one day for all, pass it wth tolerance and in a humane way by avoiding "illegal" (!!!) thoughts. One day even this train has to retire. All things come to an end.

If you cannot recognize the contributions of the undocumented people then at least keep quiet.Being a hypocrite will get you no where. Just think how the idea of $18 for a big mac grabs you instead of $4.5?

Yes, that is what you would pay without the effort of the undocumented. I could give several examples . but Hey how many of you out there dont know where Canada is so one example should be , hopefully , okay to understand

Posted by: Arnold | February 8, 2008 5:23 PM

Please be careful. There are members from groups like FAIR that are posting false information. For example, no one is "required by law" to report anybody. Also, as far as rights are concerned, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that Due Process Clause applies to all persons within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent. Their liberty interest is not diminished by their lack of a legal right to live at large.

Posted by: Peter | February 11, 2008 5:17 PM

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