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May 22, 2006

intimidation campaigns

Businesses with significant Hispanic immigrant clientele have been the targets of a canvassing campaign in Denver's north metro area. Friends arrived early one morning to find a flier taped to the door of their tortilleria. Considering the business is open from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. Monday through Friday; 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Saturday and 7 A.M. to 3 P.M. on Sunday, you would think the info-thugs could have managed to come to the store at a time when they could held a personal dialogue with the owners regarding their concerns.

In spite of the flier's official looking formatting, the purpose was clearly one of intimidation:

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements

SAVE Program

This is an urgent message from the citizens of the United States of America

It has come to our attention that many employers are hiring illegal alien labor. It is our duty to inform you that if you have employees of illegal migrant status, that you are, as of right now committing a Federal Crime (US Code TITLE 8, Chapter 12, Sub. 2, Part 9, 1234a).

Many employers may not be aware that their employee's documents are FRAUDULENT. Illegal Aliens who present false I.D. to you are guilty of a FELONY. The sophistication of the documents is such that it could be difficult to identify the fake ones.

We are giving you notice NOW, before your business incurs costly fines, confiscation of property and audits from the Federal and State governments. Not to mention the shame and loss of clientele that could come with public exposure of illegal hiring practices.

We are therefore urging ALL businesses conducted within the US borders to immediately begin to implement the S.A.V.E. (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) program. Under the Basic Pilot Program, employers can easily verify document claims for future hires. The program is FREE and available in all 50 states.

US citizens and legal residents are becoming frustrated with the amount of illegal labor they are witnessing in this country. In the near future, do not be surprised if customers begin to inquire whether or not you are VERIFYING the immigration status of your hires! As more and more people become aware of this simple government program, there will no longer be an excuse for "accidentally" hiring those who are unlawfully here. Here is the information you need to protect your business.

The process is VERY simple
SAVE: 1-888-464-4218
Register online: http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/SAVE.htm#tw

The SAVE program is actually geared for government offices, but it does have a pilot program for employers. Here is the official description:

The SAVE Program enables Federal, state, and local government agencies and licensing bureaus to obtain immigration status information they need in order to determine a non-citizen applicant's eligibility for many public benefits. The SAVE Program also administers employment verification pilot programs that enable employers to quickly and easily verify the work authorization of their newly hired employees.

Under our current laws, all employers have to do is make a reasonable effort to review documents at the time of hire. They can't even fire someone if notified of discrepencies with their SSN. SAFE allows them a further verification after the time of hire and participation in the program is probably helpful should the company's practices ever come into review. It is voluntary and participants can choose to leave the program if it isn't a good fit for them. Here are the FAQs regarding the Employer Pilots:

Q. How do I join the Basic Pilot Program?

Answer: Employers interested in joining the Basic Pilot Program must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program. On July 7, 2004, the SAVE Program began offering a Web-Based Access Method for the Basic Pilot. To register and complete a MOU for participation in the Basic Pilot go to https://www.vis-dhs.com/EmployerRegistration, and follow the instructions.

Q. How much does it cost to participate in the Basic Pilot Program?

Answer: There is no charge to the employer. The government provides the verification services at no cost to employers.

Q. What equipment is needed to participate in the Basic Pilot?

Answer: You will need a personal computer with access to the Internet.

Q. What are the advantages for employers to volunteer to participate in the Basic Pilot Program?

Answer: The Basic Pilot removes the guesswork from document review during the Form I-9 process; it allows the employer to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees; it improves the accuracy of wage and tax reporting; and it protects jobs for authorized workers.

Q. Can I verify the work eligibility of all employees in my company?

Answer: No, you may only verify the employment eligibility of employees hired after you signed the MOU.

Q. When would I perform a verification query?

Answer: You would perform the automated employment verification query after an employee has been hired, and the Form I-9 process complete. This automated query must be initiated within 3 business days of hire. It is important to remember that the system may not be used to pre-screen an applicant for employment.

Q. Does participation in a pilot program eliminate the requirement of completing a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form?

Answer: No, Form I-9 requirements remain the same with the exception that all "List B" identity documents must contain a photograph.

Q. Can I use the system to re-verify the employment eligibility of an employee whose employment eligibility document has expired?

Answer: No, the system should not be used to re-verify employment eligibility. You would follow the procedures currently in place by completing Section 3 of the Form I-9.

Q. Have steps been taken to safeguard individual privacy in connection with the pilot programs?

Answer: Yes. The pilots are designed with safeguards to ensure that employer and employee information is protected.

Q. If I join the program, am I obligated to participate in the pilot until it ends?

Answer: No, if you join the program and decide that the pilot is not what you wanted or expected, you may drop out of the pilot. You would do this by sending written notice to the SAVE Program that you no longer want to participate in the pilot and give a brief explanation as to why.

Posted by almamia at May 22, 2006 11:13 AM


Very good reading. Peace until next time.

Posted by: WaltDe at August 31, 2006 3:30 PM

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