Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
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What is the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)?
The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) brought about major reform in the area of U.S. immigration law. It mainly addresses standards for employers when hiring aliens who are authorized to work in the U.S.
In particular the IRCA accomplished the following:
- Requires employers to confirm their employees’ current immigration statuses
- Makes it illegal for an employee to knowingly recruit and hire unauthorized or undocumented immigrants
- Extended amnesty for certain specified seasonal agricultural immigrants not yet certified
- Also granted amnesty to illegal immigrants who had entered the U.S. prior to 01/01/1982, and who have been residing in the U.S. continuously
Probably the most important provision in the IRCA is the first one, which makes it mandatory for employees to verify that an alien employee is eligible for employment in the U.S. Among other requirements, the employee and employee must submit Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form).
Does the IRCA address any other Immigration concerns?
Yes- the Immigration Reform and Control Act also addresses employment discrimination against foreign workers. The IRCA prohibits employer discrimination against a recruit or potential employee based on their citizenship or national origin. This rule applies to every business that has at least 4 employees.
Violations of IRCA can result in severe legal sanctions for both employers and employees. For example, if an employer fails to check an employee’s immigration status, they could be subject to fines or a possible jail sentence. Failure to follow IRCA requirements can also negatively affect the employer’s business licensing.
Do I need a Lawyer for issues with the IRCA?
Both employers and employees need to be sure that their employment arrangement is in compliance with the standards set forth in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Persons who are facing immigration concerns may benefit from the advice and expertise of an immigration lawyer. Immigration attorneys are trained to handle a variety of immigration issues, including documentation and work eligibility. Be sure to consult with a lawyer if you have questions regarding the IRCA.
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Last Modified: 10-23-2012 03:09 PM PDT
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