Time-consuming, confusing, challenging and overwhelming can easily describe the I-9 and E-Verify compliance arena, especially when it comes to Employers having to navigate through potential minefields of errors and/or violations. In fact, some of my more popular articles have included coverage of record fines and penalties levied on U.S. employers by ICE or DOJ, each of whom approach compliance from a different investigative lens. The environment that fines, penalties and even incarceration has created in the past few years makes employers very wary, if not downright paranoid about I-9 compliance.
While most blogs and internet news aggregates provide reports on the latest “news,” having an immigration and compliance background (as an attorney) enables me to provide additional insight readers won’t find in most other places. It also helps that my team at LawLogix (including fellow immigration attorney Ann Cun) and I have access to the nation’s leading experts in the field of I-9 compliance (some who even wrote the book on I-9s) who continue to offer their expertise direct from the trenches. Attending the latest conferences and speaking directly to government officials during various meetings are also positive contributors in relaying updated and accurate information.
All of the above is well and good for readers … but is that always the case out there on the blogosphere? The reality is that there are dangers with relying on the “wrong” type of free “legal-related” information, and so it’s imperative that readers carefully evaluate the source.
Pedigree Please: Since anybody can start a blog to disseminate information on I-9 and E-Verify, understanding the background of your blog author (or the company behind it) is important in order to gauge their true level of understanding and their ability to produce accurate and current information. For example, if you find a blog which presents I-9 and E-Verify decisions as simple onboarding choices, be very cautious! It’s highly possible that the blog in question may just be re-purposing others’ materials without a complete understanding of the possible ramifications. As I frequently write, I-9 and E-Verify decisions can be complicated, so it’s always best to consult with your own attorney before making policy changes.
First in Flight: I have been fortunate to work for a company who has truly made compliance an important part of the I-9 and E-Verify conversation. I found myself one of the few consistent authors in this area when nobody was blogging regularly about the many facets of I-9 and E-Verify compliance. From the very beginning, I was able to form great partnerships with experienced attorneys whose combined expertise ensures accurate and reliable information on this blog. Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched how this blog has influenced the electronic I-9 compliance software industry and how vendors are now quick to tout legal compliance benefits in their own marketing approaches. While copycat marketing exists in every industry, the reality is that newcomers simply do not appreciate the many shades of grey in the I-9 and E-Verify world – which can be very dangerous indeed!
Skin in the Game: Having been in this space for quite some time now, I regularly receive many positive comments and suggestions from our loyal readers. This collaboration is what motivates me to continue writing about interesting and important topics. On the other hand, the benefits have (unintentionally) flown to other organizations that prefer to take shortcuts in their writing materials. Sometimes, fellow attorneys will even point out how my blog articles have appeared (without permission) in some “version” or another on I-9 and E-Verify blogs or email alerts from other companies in our space.
On rare occasions I’ve noticed outright questionable “similarities” in other people’s articles or marketing materials. Flattery notwithstanding, when vendors in the I-9 and E-Verify space expend time/money to employ legal experts and develop their own analysis, client companies ultimately win. (After all, isn’t that the target audience?) The price is simply too high for imitation. I think for the most part, attorneys and HR readers appreciate our dedication and reward us with continued readership. For this, I am grateful!
Originally published by LawLogix Group Inc. Reprinted by permission
John Fay is an experienced corporate immigration attorney and I-9/E-Verify blogger with a unique background in designing and advising on case management technology. While practicing immigration in New York City, John designed and managed his firm’s proprietary web-based immigration management system, which featured a fully multilingual interface for international organizations. In his current role, John serves as Vice President of Products and Services and General Counsel at LawLogix, where he is responsible for overseeing product design and functionality while ensuring compliance with rapidly changing immigration rules.