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Employers Take Note: New Form I-9 Now in Effect

As of September 18, 2017, all employers must now use the revised Form I-9 released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new hires, whether citizens or noncitizens. USCIS initially published the new version of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form on July 17, 2017, but had permitted a transition period during which employers could continue to use the previous edition of the Form I-9 through September 17, 2017.

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Some Categories of Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced, on September 18, 2017, that it has resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2018 cap. USCIS had originally announced on March 3, 2017 that it would be suspending the premium processing program for all H-1B petitions received on April 3, 2017 or later, including all of the “cap-subject” H-1B petitions for FY 2018. This resumption of premium processing applies to pending petitions pursuant to both the 65,000 “regular” cap and the 20,000 U.S. advanced degree cap.

New Form I-9 Must Be Used Starting Today

Starting today, employers must begin using the revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for all new hires. The new form includes changes to the instructions and to the Acceptable Documents on List C. However, the existing storage and retention rules have not changed. Employers must continue to follow these rules for any previously completed Form I-9, as well as for new ones.

Updates on DACA and Temporary Protected Status

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would formally end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since then, 19 states and the District of Columbia have sued the Trump administration over its decision to rescind DACA, an Obama-era protection for individuals brought to the United States without proper documentation as children.

Employers Must Use New I-9 Form Beginning September 18, 2017

Starting September 18, 2017, employers must use the revised Form I-9 with the revision date “7/17/17” to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new hire.

Lawsuits Over Rescission of DACA

On September 6, 2017, the day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescission of DACA, 15 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s DACA rescission. The states included in the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Insights: The Recent Rescission of DACA Is Not an I-9 Re-Verification Event

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency announced the rescission of DACA did not require employers to re-verify work authorization documents for DACA employees, stating: “[a]ny action or attempt by employers to re-investigate or re-verify work authorization documents in order to retaliate against any immigrant worker is unlawful in California.”

Trump Administration Ends DACA Program

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created by the Obama Administration in 2012 through an Executive Order. Through DACA, nearly 800,000 undocumented individuals have been granted temporary work authorization and deferred action (which offered some protection from deportation). DACA recipients are immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in 2007 or earlier as children under the age of 16, who had no legal immigration status when the DACA program started in 2012.

Impact of the Trump Administration's Decision to End DACA

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would formally end the DACA program. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which commenced five years ago, protects certain undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation and allows them to receive employment authorization. DACA is set to expire on March 5, 2018, and President Trump requested that Congress replace this policy with new legislation prior to DACA’s expiration. If Congress is unable to enact new legislation to protect this program, DACA will terminate, impacting over 800,000 individuals currently covered by this program.

Business Immigration Zone (BIZ): Trump Administration Ends DACA

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday, September 5, that it is ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA"). Congress now has a six-month window to save the Obama-era program. If a compromise is reached, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children may be able to remain in the country.