• office locations
     
    Bluffton, SC map
    Bluffton, SC Office
    The Plaza at Belfair
    4 Clarks Summit Drive
    Suite 200 | Bluffton, SC 29910-4993
    843.815.2171  Main | 843.815.5991  Fax
     
    Charleston, SC map
    Charleston, SC Office
    100 Calhoun Street
    Suite 400 | Charleston, SC 29401
    843.723.7831  Main | 843.722.3227  Fax
     
    Charlotte, NC map
    Charlotte, NC Office
    Bank of America Plaza
    101 South Tryon Street
    Suite 2610 | Charlotte, NC 28280
    704.347.1170  Main | 704.347.4467  Fax
     
    Columbia, SC map
    Columbia, SC Office
    1221 Main Street
    Suite 1800 | Columbia, SC 29201
    803.799.9800  Main | 803.753.3278  Fax
     
    Greenville, SC map
    Greenville, SC Office
    Poinsett Plaza
    104 South Main Street
    Suite 700 | Greenville, SC 29601
    864.271.4940  Main | 864.271.4015  Fax
     
    Hilton Head Is., SC map
    Hilton Head Island, SC Office
    Shelter Cove Executive Park
    23-B Shelter Cove Lane
    Suite 400 | Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    843.785.2171  Main | 843.686.5991  Fax
     
    Myrtle Beach, SC map
    Myrtle Beach, SC Office
    Founders Centre
    2411 Oak Street
    Suite 206 | Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
    843.444.1107  Main | 843.444.4729  Fax
     
    Pawleys Island, SC map
    Pawleys Island, SC Office
    11019 Ocean Highway
    Pawleys Island, SC 29585
    843.235.4100  Main | 843.235.4101  Fax
     
  • contact us
      No   Yes  
PROFESSIONALS OTHER CONTENT
     
Instagram

News Room

Print
Share

2013 Immigration Compliance - Is Your Business Ready?January 9, 2013

There have been significant and recent developments in immigration law that will likely impact businesses in South Carolina and North Carolina in 2013.   This article summarizes both federal and state immigration developments.

On the Horizon – Will There Be a New I-9 Form in 2013?

In March 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a new I-9 form and invited public comments until Fall 2012.  USCIS continues to review thousands of comments and will likely release final changes to Form I-9 in the coming months. The most significant proposed changes include expanding the form to two pages and increasing the data fields in Sections 1, 2 and 3 to allow for additional information.

Employers should continue using the existing Form I-9 even though it contains an expiration date of August 31, 2012, in the top right-hand corner. The current version of the form has an effective date of August 7, 2009, in the bottom right-hand corner.

ICE Audits – Braving the Storm Should ICE Come Knocking

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted more than 3,000 audits of businesses in 2012.  Civil monetary fines for employers rose from $1 million in fiscal year 2009 to $13 million in 2012.  President Obama continues to advocate the need for comprehensive immigration reform, but emphasizes that reform must contain penalties for companies intentionally hiring illegal immigrants.   There are various reasons a business may be selected for an ICE audit, including leads from others (i.e. members of the public, former employees), but ICE may randomly select a business for audit as well.

Employers should periodically review I-9 and E-Verify records for compliance and implement a designated correction method if needed.  Managers responsible for state and federal immigration compliance should participate in detailed training on compliance issues.   

North Carolina E-Verify Law

On June 18, 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 36, which mandates E-Verify in various phases for private employers with 25 or more employees. The law exempts seasonal temporary employees employed for 90 days or less during a consecutive, 12-month period.  The North Carolina Department of Labor will enforce the law and investigate any complaints filed against an employer. Employers with 500 or more employees began complying with the law on October 1, 2012.   Employers with 100 to 499 employees must begin E-Verify for new hires on January 1, 2013, while employers with 25 to 99 employees must roll into compliance on July 1, 2013.

Recently, President Obama signed legislation extending the E-Verify program for a three-year period until September 30, 2015.

South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act

On January 1, 2012, most South Carolina private employers were required to begin using E-Verify for all new hires regardless of the employer’s size. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation enforces the law and has audited hundreds of businesses since the law went into effect. If employers have not enrolled in E-Verify to date, be aware that running late queries can raise concerns and should be carefully considered.

Conclusion

In 2013, businesses must stay alert of new developments, both at the federal and state level, in the area of immigration law.  Internal audits and effective immigration compliance training by experienced counsel are proactive steps to help employers prepare and potentially minimize their exposure should a federal or state audit occur.

Additional Information

McNair Law Firm has experienced attorneys who focus on various aspects of the law including labor & employment, litigation, tax, and corporate law. If you have any questions about this news alert, please contact any of our Labor & Employment attorneys on our website at www.mcnair.net.

This Alert provides an overview of certain aspects of a specific legal issue. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation. This Alert does not establish and should not be construed as establishing an attorney client relationship.