Business owners are gathering today in Madison to make sure they “cross their i’s and dot their t’s” in hiring foreign workers. Immigration attorney Linda Clifford, is detailing the visa procedures, which she says can be fairly complicated, and how the government enforces such practices.
Failure to comply can result in penalties for the business ranging from $110-to-2500 a day. Clifford says the feds consider numerous factors in how much to penalize such as extent of knowledge, liability, number of unlawful workers. The result has been many companies being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The federal I-9 form, which requires business owners to verify a workers status in the US, has been on the books since 1986, but requirements initially were not enforced leading a robust market of fraudulent documents. Clifford says stronger enforcement in recent years has business owners keeping a closer eye.
“The heightened level of enforcement has employers concerned because if they think they have an authorized workforce but it’s not and they happen to be raided and lose half their workforce in one day. That can make a serious impact on operations.”
The meeting is sponsored by Madison International Trade Association and UW’s Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy and Center for International Business Education and Research.