Legal Blog

Immigration Law Updates – What Every Employer Needs to Know

During his campaign, President Trump made a number of statements about immigration law.  While many elected officials will campaign one way and govern another, from the Executive Orders and actions already taken, it should be clear to everyone that immigration issues are front and center in President Trump’s agenda.  While many news reports have focused on the proposed wall along the southern border with Mexico and the refugee ban, there are less-talked about components of these Executive Orders that could affect all employers.  From I-9 compliance to international hiring, there are a couple of issues that all employers should be paying close attention to:


I-9 Compliance

On November 14, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued the new I-9 form.  Effective January 21, 2017, all employers are required to use the new form for all new hires.  Employers who fail to use the proper form can be subject to civil penalties for every improper form used.  For example, if an employer hires 5 employees after February 2, 2017, and uses the expired form each time, USCIS will assess five separate penalties.  These fines, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, add up quickly.  All employers should ensure that they are using the correct I-9 forms.

In an Executive Order issued on January 25, 2017, titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, President Trump directed all executive agencies to prioritize the enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the United States.  Employers should expect that such enforcement will include increased audits and investigations of I-9 compliance, particularly in industries which are known to employ unauthorized immigrants.  We strongly suggest that employers audit their I-9 records, ensure that all forms are properly filled out and that all employees are authorized for employment in the United States.


Hiring Foreign Nationals

Employers who are interested in recruiting and hiring foreign nationals should be closely watching the current administration.  President Trump’s administration is closely looking at the current visa processes and procedures and it is widely expected that efforts to tighten up immigration laws and reassess current business visas are in the works.  Included among these changes are modifications to the H-1B visa and B-visas, which are commonly used to hire professional employees.  Moreover, travel from predominantly Muslim countries is being closely scrutinized.  If your company recruits foreign nationals as a source of talent, it is imperative that you first determine whether the foreign nationals you are recruiting are eligible to work in the United States or are likely to be permitted entry.


We are closely monitoring all immigration-related executive orders, laws, and regulations which may impact employers.  In the coming weeks and months, we will be providing more specific, in-depth analysis of all executive orders and regulations and how they may impact the business community.  In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about how your company’s compliance with immigration law, please do not hesitate to contact me.


In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about immigration law, please contact Alfredo Acin




Mr. Acin  is an associate in the firm’s Family Practice Group. He assists clients in a variety of family law matters including divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, property division, post-divorce decree enforcement, modification of custody, visitation, and support, and drafting pre-nuptial and separation agreements. Although he believes that it is in every party’s best interests to resolve matters between the parties, Mr. Acin recognizes that sometimes this is not possible, in which case he will zealously advocate on his clients’ behalf.






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