Continued Enforcement Aimed at Employers (more Form I-9 Inspections).  As the country patiently waits for comprehensive immigration reform, there is no doubt that the significant enforcement aimed at employers we have seen over the last few years will only increase in 2013.  All employers across the country, regardless of whether they employ foreign workers, should be on alert for immigration-related inspections and enforcement actions — especially employers associated with “critical infrastructure” or “key resources” sectors, which include the food industry.

E-Verify.   Be on the lookout for more states to mandate E-Verify for private employers in 2013, and E-Verify participation is expected to be a part of any comprehensive immigration reform.  In the meantime, employers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee should pay particular attention to the upcoming 2013 E-Verify participation deadlines in those states:

  • Georgia
    • Employers with more than 99 employees: deadline has passed
    • Employers with 11-99 employees: July 1, 2013
  • North Carolina
    • Employers with more than 500 employees: deadline has passed
    • Employers with 100-499 employees: January 1, 2013
    • Employers with 25-99 employees: July 1, 2013
  • Tennessee
    • Employers with more than 199 employees: deadline has passed
    • Employers with 6-199 employees: January 1, 2013

All employers who have not yet implemented E-Verify or who have only implemented E-Verify in certain states should review the relevant states’ requirements to determine whether they need to revise their E-Verify participation. 

New Form I-9.  Last, but not least, in addition to the increased enforcement, USCIS is expected to issue a new Form I-9 within the next few months after two rounds of comment period in 2012.  Overall, the proposed Form I-9 de-clutters the Form I-9’s content and leaves less room for error in completing the Form I-9.  However, implementation of the new I-9 will require additional training and tweaks to existing electronic systems (if implemented). As a reminder, the proposal is still in draft form and employers should continue to use the current Form I-9 until any changes are made permanent.