Will Biden pick up the 'I-9 verification' ball that Trump dropped?

Updated: January 30th, 2021, 7:35 pm


  by  Roy Beck

The clock has run out for the Trump Administration to move forward an interim final "G-Verify" rule that would require employers to file their "I-9" employment verification forms online. This would allow federal officials to actually see the forms which employers currently can fill out and then just stuff into their desk drawers without anybody from the government ever seeing whether procedures were properly followed to prevent illegal hiring of foreign workers. View the full document here.

The proposal reached the White House late autumn but did not get action, according to a White House source. It is a proposal that incoming Pres. Biden might see as a way to reduce feared surges at the border of foreign workers who believe that, if they can get into the United States, they can hold U.S. jobs the rest of their lives because of Biden's campaign promises against deportations.

Form I-9 was created after the 1986 amnesty law required a form "in which each new employee attests to his/her identity (name/SSN/birthdate) and authorization to work, and the employer attests to having verified that the new employee is not a UAW (Unauthorized Alien Worker), based on examination of specified documents," according to the proposal at the White House.

The shortcomings of Form I-9 and the way it is handled are well-known and a key reason why an estimated 7 million illegal aliens are able to hold U.S. jobs.

Because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not itself receive copies of the completed forms, DHS is unable to examine the information reported except in the rare event that agents are physically sent to a workplace and that the employer has not discarded the forms "through negiligence or withheld Forms I-9 that may be incriminating," the proposal explains. It states further:

The consequences of these IRCA (the 1986 law) shortcomings have been severely exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of which 17 million American citizens and permanent resident aliens who want to work cannot find jobs. These millions of unemployed Americans are competing for jobs with a UAW (illegal aliens) workforce of more than 8 million . . .

According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), the American workers most likely to be competing for those UAW-held jobs are Black men.

DHS has concluded that this unexpected, extraordinary, and racially discriminatory tragedy requires a prompt and strong remedy . . . that Form I-9 must henceforward be completed online, giving DHS immediate access to the name/SSN/birthdate of every new employee, as well as the claimed work authorization of every new employee who reports that he/she is an alien . . . DHS may then compare this data against its own alien data files."

The proposal offers humanitarian relief for illegal aliens who can't find work because of the increased verification process. DHS would offer to assist them in securing travel documents from their own country's consulates and would arrange safe transportation back home for the illegal workers and their families. It would even cover the transportation costs "within budgetary limits" for illegal workers who can't afford the trip back home.

Perhaps appealing to the Biden Administration, the rule would offer an amnesty of sorts to illegal workers who apply at an ICE office; DHS would not prosecute them for their previous immigration-law violations if they go home.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA