ADVANCE PREPARATION OF SECTION 1 BY ELECTRONIC I-9 PROGRAMS IS PROHIBITED
On April 11, 2013, the American Immigration Lawyers Association Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee held a meeting with officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HSI Worksite Enforcement Unit. One of the issues discussed was the advance preparation of Section 1 of the I-9 form by electronic I-9 programs. This is an important issue for many employers who use electronic I-9 systems. Many electronic I-9 systems are integrated with other HR systems and seek to create efficiencies in the hiring process by inserting employee information in Section 1 from data in the employer’s intake program.
In what we believe is a fairly significant change in the agency’s position on this issue, ICE stated that advance preparation of Section 1 is not permissible, regardless of whether the preparer/translator section is completed and regardless of whether the individual employee provided the original information that is used.
Based on these statements, employers should be aware that an electronic I-9 program that involves advance preparation of employee information in Section 1 carries same legal risk. The agency’s position applies to an employer’s existing and future electronic I-9s.
It is not clear why ICE has taken this position. We are monitoring this change and hope to provide more information in the near future.
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