Cross-border

Immigration Updates for the Month of May 2014

Imm Roundup Image 134 by 131.jpgDHS Proposes Rule Changes Benefitting Spouses of H-1B Workers and Other Highly Skilled Immigrants
On May 6, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its plans to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants through two proposed rule changes. The proposed rule changes would allow employment authorization for certain spouses of H-1B workers, and would make it easier for highly skilled workers to remain in the United States. Read the full post here. (May 13, 2014)
Tags: Migration

Immigration Update for April 12-30, 2014

Imm Roundup Image 134 by 131.jpgDepartment of Justice Settlements a Good Reminder of Employer Obligations under Employment Verification Laws
Employers work hard to make sure they comply with federal immigration law, but they must remember not to take their efforts too far. Last week, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reminded employers everywhere of their obligations to treat both citizen and non-citizen employees alike when it comes to verifying the employment eligibility of individuals, to the tune of $155,500 in civil penalties. Read the full post here. (April 29, 2013). 

White House Plans to Allow Work Authorizations for Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders, as Well as to Enhance Opportunities for Outstanding Professors and Researchers
In a press release dated April 7, 2014, the White House announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon publish proposed rules, as part of the "Attracting the World's Best and Brightest" initiative, to allow spouses of certain H-1B visa holders to be eligible for employment authorization to work in the U.S. This effort will be part of a series of steps to strengthen entrepreneurship in the United States and abroad, as well as attract high-skilled immigrants to the United States. Read the full post here. (April 17, 2014).
Tags: Migration

US and Mexico Sign Agreement to Promote Enforcement of Employment Laws that Protect Migrant Workers

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By Carlos Ferrán Martinez Carrillo

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare of Mexico (STPS) signed an agreement on April 3, 2014, to strengthen the relationship between both nations and promote compliance of the labor laws of both countries, especially as it relates to the protection of migrant workers. Through this joint effort, both governments seek to ensure that migrant workers become more knowledgeable of their legal rights, as well as of the employer's obligations.

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Tags: Migration

Immigration Update for the Week of March 24, 2014

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Employers Should Anticipate Tougher Worksite Enforcement Efforts in the Near Future
In a recent report entitled "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Worksite Enforcement Administrative Inspection Process," Acting Assistant Inspector General for Audits Mark Bell discussed the results of an audit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's ("ICE") worksite enforcement processes. The purpose for the audit was to determine whether ICE was meeting directives set out in the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. The report concluded that ICE has been inconsistent in its enforcement policies and made recommendations to improve ICE's implementation of its worksite strategy and uniformly strengthen its fine and audit procedures. Read the full post here. (March 28, 2014)

Image credit: CDH Design

Survey Finds that Many Companies Fall Short in their Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs

By Geida Sanlate

International Business.jpgThe findings from a 2013 survey of "International Business Attitudes to Corruption" conducted by Control Risks and the Economist Intelligence Unit, two independent international business risks and opportunities consultancy firms, suggest that many companies are unprepared to handle a corruption scandal and have yet to implement best practices for anti-corruption compliance.  The study surveyed general counsels, senior corporate lawyers and compliance heads in more than 300 companies worldwide.
 

A Synopsis of the Survey's Key Findings
 

Pressure to Pay is Biggest Concern and Most Significant Challenge
Of those surveyed, the majority (58%) of respondents stated that their biggest concern is whether their employees will be able to resist the demands for "operational" bribes.  Only 29% cited the "classic" bribe, i.e., demands for bribes to secure contracts, as their main concern.  Operational bribes typically present themselves as demands for small amounts of money, carrying the threat that the company's transactions --- whether a license application or custom processing --- will be significantly delayed if the company fails to pay.

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Immigration Update for the Week of October 14, 2013

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E-Verify Instructions to Employers Following the Government Shutdown
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 17, 2013 that E-Verify is once again available for use by employers following the end of the government shutdown. During the government shutdown, E-Verify users were unable to access their accounts, verify the employment authorization of new hires, or reconcile any pending tentative non-confirmations in E-Verify. Now that E-Verify is again available, DHS has released guidance and instructions to employers who were impacted by E-Verify's temporary unavailability. Read the full post here. (October 17, 2013)

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Tags: Migration

Immigration Update for the Week of October 7, 2013

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Bills Signed into Law in California will Benefit Undocumented Residents
On October 5, 2013, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed several pieces of immigration-related legislation that will benefit undocumented residents. The office of the Governor described the laws as designed to "enhance school, workplace and civil protections for California's hardworking immigrants." The Governor added that "While Washington waffles on immigration, California's forging ahead, . . . I'm not waiting." Read the full post here. (October 8, 2013)

House Democrats Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Bill Designed to Receive Bipartisan Support
On October 2, 2013, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15), a comprehensive immigration reform bill modeled on Senate bill 744, which the Senate approved on June 27, 2013. As of October 6, the bill had 161 co-sponsors. Read the full post here. (October 7, 2013)

Image credit: CDH Design

Tags: Migration

Immigration Update for the Week of March 11, 2013

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Disagreement and Delays over Immigration Reform Continue - Lawmakers Delay Draft of Immigration Legislation Until Early April
Lawmakers have announced that, despite meeting several times a week to write immigration reform legislation, a draft might be delayed until after the congressional recess scheduled for the last week in March and first week in April. Read the full post here. (March 15)

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Tags: Migration

Immigration Update for the Week of March 4, 2013

Imm Roundup Image 134 by 131.jpgU.S. Chamber of Commerce Supports Mandatory E-verify Law
Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce representative indicated the organization now supports a mandatory E-Verify law for all employers to be phased in over the next three years, provided that certain conditions are met. Read the full post here. (March 8)

New I-9 Form to Go into Effect on May 7, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that, effective May 7, 2013, employers must use a new Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification purposes. Read the full post here. (March 8)

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Tags: Migration

Immigration Update for the Week of February 18, 2013

Imm Roundup Image 134 by 131.jpgUnited States: ICE Increased Number of Audits and Fines in San Diego in Fiscal Year 2012
10 San Diego-based companies were fined a collective total of $173,800 during FY 2012 for various employment-related violations, including employing unauthorized workers. Read the full post here. (February 19)

Image credit: CDH Design

Tags: Migration