IRCAM (Immigration Reform Control of songs about) made it unlawful for any employer to knowingly hire individuals not authorized to work in the United States. My idea of illegal immigrants and how the concept applies to HR and business is very simple. Each employer must verify the identity and eligibility to work every new hire. At that point, it seemed pretty obvious that the federal government was to put the monkey on illegal immigrants behind employers …
I was relatively new to staff work (what we called it in those days) when IRCAM was set in 1986. I was working in a large hardware company (200+ people) in one of the Mid-Atlantic states. We really do not have much of the “Illegals” are to work for the company. At least not that we knew about … but it was a lot of gnashing of teeth anyway. You know, “the federal government is getting into our business, how we can work with all these rules”, and so on. Because of the type of experience we need and the market we were in, it was unlikely that undocumented aliens would be fit for our op anyway.
Regardless, I completed my Form i9 for each new hire to ensure that we were not infiltrated by alien elements, foreign agents, people who would eventually end up on the public dole, or children could be educated at cost taxpayers. .. No one within the company ever asked to see forms. No one outside the company (ie the Feds) always asked to see forms. But my personnel records got fatter and fatter.
Next my job was with the production company. As you might imagine, it was a completely different ball game. The company had facilities stretch across the country. IRCAM-issues if the game would launch site of the facility in the country. Again, I followed a stable law or tried to. The company would issue here and there, depending on the particular facility. Many of the personnel of the company was wound up on the review of i9 documents. It always seemed easy for the staff people to forget that the intention of the government was that the employer make a “good faith” efforts to ensure that the documents were legitimate. As with so many other issues, they tend to over-intellectualize. We were not lawyers or FBI document specialists … our staff people.
Let’s face it, this is not rocket science. At the date of hire and the first three days of work, the following must occur: 1) new employee completes Section 1, including name, address, date of birth, citizenship status, etc. and signal section (must be completed one day); 2) the first three days of employment, the employer examines the documents presented by the employee as evidence of identity and eligibility to work and sign section 2 prove the legitimacy of the documents and that the employee is authorized to work in the United States. The form must be completed by the third day of employment, unless there are mitigating circumstances. Retention requirements can be confusing, but they are not so bad in the context of overall records retention program. A reasonable HR solution that any company can put in place.
latest position was under construction, one of the sectors targeted by ice (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for specific implementation efforts. Very large part of the field of labor our Hispanic. With 50-70 ongoing projects in time and on-site superintendents responsible for hiring and employment verification process, it could be interesting to say the least.
Superintendents discussed the candidates and applications in the field and send them to the Secretariat to work. We set up special procedures to ensure that the director would not go all the way through the application process with the applicant only to find out on the day of recruitment began, he could not produce legitimate data. It took some time, but the people in the area came to realize that the process had to be based on discipline – everyone was treated the same way
Currently, the “monkey” is back where it was in . 1986 – behind the American company. The federal government failed from the outset to implement effectively any of the immigration laws on the books. Over the years, beginning in 1986, it has actually enacted laws that have amnestied over 5,000,000 illegal aliens while the state struggles to fund education and other services. (Almost 3,000,000 immigrants receive amnesty when IRCAM was adopted in 1986 – part of a compromise) The government has alternately raided the company and arrested suspected illegal workers and, most recently, arrested the owners and managers of companies that knowingly hire illegal workers
Human resource experts can not solve problems related to illegal immigration. However, we can follow the law in the books (regardless of whether the authorities enforce them or not). A large part of our responsibility has always been done. A large part of it is to assist owners and managers we work to comply with these same laws.