8 U.S.C. § 1324a - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 8. Aliens and Nationality § 1324a. Unlawful employment of aliens




Making employment of unauthorized aliens unlawful

In general

It is unlawful for a person or other entity--

 to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien (as defined in subsection (h)(3) of this section) with respect to such employment, or

 (i) to hire for employment in the United States an individual without complying with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section or (ii) if the person or entity is an agricultural association, agricultural employer, or farm labor contractor (as defined in section 1802 of Title 29), to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an individual without complying with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

Continuing employment

It is unlawful for a person or other entity, after hiring an alien for employment in accordance with paragraph (1), to continue to employ the alien in the United States knowing the alien is (or has become) an unauthorized alien with respect to such employment.

Defense

A person or entity that establishes that it has complied in good faith with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section with respect to the hiring, recruiting, or referral for employment of an alien in the United States has established an affirmative defense that the person or entity has not violated paragraph (1)(A) with respect to such hiring, recruiting, or referral.

Use of labor through contract

For purposes of this section, a person or other entity who uses a contract, subcontract, or exchange, entered into, renegotiated, or extended after November 6, 1986, to obtain the labor of an alien in the United States knowing that the alien is an unauthorized alien (as defined in subsection (h)(3) of this section) with respect to performing such labor, shall be considered to have hired the alien for employment in the United States in violation of paragraph (1)(A).

Use of State employment agency documentation

For purposes of paragraphs (1)(B) and (3), a person or entity shall be deemed to have complied with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section with respect to the hiring of an individual who was referred for such employment by a State employment agency (as defined by the Attorney General), if the person or entity has and retains (for the period and in the manner described in subsection (b)(3) of this section) appropriate documentation of such referral by that agency, which documentation certifies that the agency has complied with the procedures specified in subsection (b) of this section with respect to the individual's referral.

Treatment of documentation for certain employees

In general

For purposes of this section, if--

 an individual is a member of a collective-bargaining unit and is employed, under a collective bargaining agreement entered into between one or more employee organizations and an association of two or more employers, by an employer that is a member of such association, and

 within the period specified in subparagraph (B), another employer that is a member of the association (or an agent of such association on behalf of the employer) has complied with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section with respect to the employment of the individual,

the subsequent employer shall be deemed to have complied with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section with respect to the hiring of the employee and shall not be liable for civil penalties described in subsection (e)(5) of this section.

Period

The period described in this subparagraph is 3 years, or, if less, the period of time that the individual is authorized to be employed in the United States.

Liability

In general

If any employer that is a member of an association hires for employment in the United States an individual and relies upon the provisions of subparagraph (A) to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section and the individual is an alien not authorized to work in the United States, then for the purposes of paragraph (1)(A), subject to clause (ii), the employer shall be presumed to have known at the time of hiring or afterward that the individual was an alien not authorized to work in the United States.

Rebuttal of presumption

The presumption established by clause (i) may be rebutted by the employer only through the presentation of clear and convincing evidence that the employer did not know (and could not reasonably have known) that the individual at the time of hiring or afterward was an alien not authorized to work in the United States.

Exception

Clause (i) shall not apply in any prosecution under subsection (f)(1) of this section.

Application to Federal Government

For purposes of this section, the term “entity” includes an entity in any branch of the Federal Government.

Employment verification system

The requirements referred to in paragraphs (1)(B) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section are, in the case of a person or other entity hiring, recruiting, or referring an individual for employment in the United States, the requirements specified in the following three paragraphs:

Attestation after examination of documentation

In general

The person or entity must attest, under penalty of perjury and on a form designated or established by the Attorney General by regulation, that it has verified that the individual is not an unauthorized alien by examining--

 a document described in subparagraph (B), or

 a document described in subparagraph (C) and a document described in subparagraph (D).

Such attestation may be manifested by either a hand-written or an electronic signature.  A person or entity has complied with the requirement of this paragraph with respect to examination of a document if the document reasonably appears on its face to be genuine.  If an individual provides a document or combination of documents that reasonably appears on its face to be genuine and that is sufficient to meet the requirements of the first sentence of this paragraph, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as requiring the person or entity to solicit the production of any other document or as requiring the individual to produce such another document.

Documents establishing both employment authorization and identity

A document described in this subparagraph is an individual's--

 United States passport; [FN1]

 resident alien card, alien registration card, or other document designated by the Attorney General, if the document--

 contains a photograph of the individual and such other personal identifying information relating to the individual as the Attorney General finds, by regulation, sufficient for purposes of this subsection,

 is evidence of authorization of employment in the United States, and

 contains security features to make it resistant to tampering, counterfeiting, and fraudulent use.

Documents evidencing employment authorization

A document described in this subparagraph is an individual's--

 social security account number card (other than such a card which specifies on the face that the issuance of the card does not authorize employment in the United States);  or

 other documentation evidencing authorization of employment in the United States which the Attorney General finds, by regulation, to be acceptable for purposes of this section.

Documents establishing identity of individual

A document described in this subparagraph is an individual's--

 driver's license or similar document issued for the purpose of identification by a State, if it contains a photograph of the individual or such other personal identifying information relating to the individual as the Attorney General finds, by regulation, sufficient for purposes of this section;  or

 in the case of individuals under 16 years of age or in a State which does not provide for issuance of an identification document (other than a driver's license) referred to in clause (i), documentation of personal identity of such other type as the Attorney General finds, by regulation, provides a reliable means of identification.

Authority to prohibit use of certain documents

If the Attorney General finds, by regulation, that any document described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) as establishing employment authorization or identity does not reliably establish such authorization or identity or is being used fraudulently to an unacceptable degree, the Attorney General may prohibit or place conditions on its use for purposes of this subsection.

Individual attestation of employment authorization

The individual must attest, under penalty of perjury on the form designated or established for purposes of paragraph (1), that the individual is a citizen or national of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or an alien who is authorized under this chapter or by the Attorney General to be hired, recruited, or referred for such employment.  Such attestation may be manifested by either a hand-written or an electronic signature.

Retention of verification form

After completion of such form in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2), the person or entity must retain a paper, microfiche, microfilm, or electronic version of the form and make it available for inspection by officers of the Service, the Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, or the Department of Labor during a period beginning on the date of the hiring, recruiting, or referral of the individual and ending--

 in the case of the recruiting or referral for a fee (without hiring) of an individual, three years after the date of the recruiting or referral, and

 in the case of the hiring of an individual--

 three years after the date of such hiring, or

 one year after the date the individual's employment is terminated,

whichever is later.

Copying of documentation permitted

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the person or entity may copy a document presented by an individual pursuant to this subsection and may retain the copy, but only (except as otherwise permitted under law) for the purpose of complying with the requirements of this subsection.

Limitation on use of attestation form

A form designated or established by the Attorney General under this subsection and any information contained in or appended to such form, may not be used for purposes other than for enforcement of this chapter and sections 1001, 1028, 1546, and 1621 of Title 18.

Good faith compliance

In general

Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), a person or entity is considered to have complied with a requirement of this subsection notwithstanding a technical or procedural failure to meet such requirement if there was a good faith attempt to comply with the requirement.

Exception if failure to correct after notice

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if--

 the Service (or another enforcement agency) has explained to the person or entity the basis for the failure,

 the person or entity has been provided a period of not less than 10 business days (beginning after the date of the explanation) within which to correct the failure, and

 the person or entity has not corrected the failure voluntarily within such period.

Exception for pattern or practice violators

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a person or entity that has or is engaging in a pattern or practice of violations of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) of this section.

No authorization of national identification cards

Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize, directly or indirectly, the issuance or use of national identification cards or the establishment of a national identification card.

Evaluation and changes in employment verification system

Presidential monitoring and improvements in system

Monitoring

The President shall provide for the monitoring and evaluation of the degree to which the employment verification system established under subsection (b) of this section provides a secure system to determine employment eligibility in the United States and shall examine the suitability of existing Federal and State identification systems for use for this purpose.

Improvements to establish secure system

To the extent that the system established under subsection (b) of this section is found not to be a secure system to determine employment eligibility in the United States, the President shall, subject to paragraph (3) and taking into account the results of any demonstration projects conducted under paragraph (4), implement such changes in (including additions to) the requirements of subsection (b) of this section as may be necessary to establish a secure system to determine employment eligibility in the United States.  Such changes in the system may be implemented only if the changes conform to the requirements of paragraph (2).

Restrictions on changes in system

Any change the President proposes to implement under paragraph (1) in the verification system must be designed in a manner so the verification system, as so changed, meets the following requirements:

Reliable determination of identity

The system must be capable of reliably determining whether--

 a person with the identity claimed by an employee or prospective employee is eligible to work, and

 the employee or prospective employee is claiming the identity of another individual.

Using of counterfeit-resistant documents

If the system requires that a document be presented to or examined by an employer, the document must be in a form which is resistant to counterfeiting and tampering.

Limited use of system

Any personal information utilized by the system may not be made available to Government agencies, employers, and other persons except to the extent necessary to verify that an individual is not an unauthorized alien.

Privacy of information

The system must protect the privacy and security of personal information and identifiers utilized in the system.

Limited denial of verification

A verification that an employee or prospective employee is eligible to be employed in the United States may not be withheld or revoked under the system for any reason other than that the employee or prospective employee is an unauthorized alien.

Limited use for law enforcement purposes

The system may not be used for law enforcement purposes, other than for enforcement of this chapter or sections 1001, 1028, 1546, and 1621 of Title 18.

Restriction on use of new documents

If the system requires individuals to present a new card or other document (designed specifically for use for this purpose) at the time of hiring, recruitment, or referral, then such document may not be required to be presented for any purpose other than under this chapter (or enforcement of sections 1001, 1028, 1546, and 1621 of Title 18) nor to be carried on one's person.

Notice to Congress before implementing changes

In general

The President may not implement any change under paragraph (1) unless at least--

 60 days,

 one year, in the case of a major change described in subparagraph (D)(iii), or

 two years, in the case of a major change described in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (D),

before the date of implementation of the change, the President has prepared and transmitted to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate a written report setting forth the proposed change.  If the President proposes to make any change regarding social security account number cards, the President shall transmit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Finance of the Senate a written report setting forth the proposed change.  The President promptly shall cause to have printed in the Federal Register the substance of any major change (described in subparagraph (D)) proposed and reported to Congress.

Contents of report

In any report under subparagraph (A) the President shall include recommendations for the establishment of civil and criminal sanctions for unauthorized use or disclosure of the information or identifiers contained in such system.

Congressional review of major changes

Hearings and review

The Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and of the Senate shall cause to have printed in the Congressional Record the substance of any major change described in subparagraph (D), shall hold hearings respecting the feasibility and desirability of implementing such a change, and, within the two year period before implementation, shall report to their respective Houses findings on whether or not such a change should be implemented.

Congressional action

No major change may be implemented unless the Congress specifically provides, in an appropriations or other Act, for funds for implementation of the change.

Major changes defined

As used in this paragraph, the term “major change” means a change which would--

 require an individual to present a new card or other document (designed specifically for use for this purpose) at the time of hiring, recruitment, or referral,

 provide for a telephone verification system under which an employer, recruiter, or referrer must transmit to a Federal official information concerning the immigration status of prospective employees and the official transmits to the person, and the person must record, a verification code, or

 require any change in any card used for accounting purposes under the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. § 301 et seq.],  including any change requiring that the only social security account number cards which may be presented in order to comply with subsection (b)(1)(C)(i) of this section are such cards as are in a counterfeit-resistant form consistent with the second sentence of section 205(c)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. § 405(c)(2)(D)].

General revenue funding of social security card changes

Any costs incurred in developing and implementing any change described in subparagraph (D)(iii) for purposes of this subsection shall not be paid for out of any trust fund established under the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. § 301 et seq.].

Demonstration projects

Authority

The President may undertake demonstration projects (consistent with paragraph (2)) of different changes in the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.  No such project may extend over a period of longer than five years.

Reports on projects

The President shall report to the Congress on the results of demonstration projects conducted under this paragraph.

Compliance

Complaints and investigations

The Attorney General shall establish procedures--

 for individuals and entities to file written, signed complaints respecting potential violations of subsection (a) or (g)(1) of this section,

 for the investigation of those complaints which, on their face, have a substantial probability of validity,

 for the investigation of such other violations of subsection (a) or (g)(1) of this section as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate, and

 for the designation in the Service of a unit which has, as its primary duty, the prosecution of cases of violations of subsection (a) or (g)(1) of this section under this subsection.

Authority in investigations

In conducting investigations and hearings under this subsection--

 immigration officers and administrative law judges shall have reasonable access to examine evidence of any person or entity being investigated,

 administrative law judges, may, if necessary, compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence at any designated place or hearing, and

 immigration officers designated by the Commissioner may compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence at any designated place prior to the filing of a complaint in a case under paragraph (2).

In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena lawfully issued under this paragraph and upon application of the Attorney General, an appropriate district court of the United States may issue an order requiring compliance with such subpoena and any failure to obey such order may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.

Hearing

In general

Before imposing an order described in paragraph (4), (5), or (6) against a person or entity under this subsection for a violation of subsection (a) or (g)(1) of this section, the Attorney General shall provide the person or entity with notice and, upon request made within a reasonable time (of not less than 30 days, as established by the Attorney General) of the date of the notice, a hearing respecting the violation.

Conduct of hearing

Any hearing so requested shall be conducted before an administrative law judge.  The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of section 554 of Title 5.  The hearing shall be held at the nearest practicable place to the place where the person or entity resides or of the place where the alleged violation occurred.  If no hearing is so requested, the Attorney General's imposition of the order shall constitute a final and unappealable order.

Issuance of orders

If the administrative law judge determines, upon the preponderance of the evidence received, that a person or entity named in the complaint has violated subsection (a) or (g)(1) of this section, the administrative law judge shall state his findings of fact and issue and cause to be served on such person or entity an order described in paragraph (4), (5), or (6).

Cease and desist order with civil money penalty for hiring, recruiting, and referral violations

With respect to a violation of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) of this section, the order under this subsection--

 shall require the person or entity to cease and desist from such violations and to pay a civil penalty in an amount of--

 not less than $250 and not more than $2,000 for each unauthorized alien with respect to whom a violation of either such subsection occurred,

 not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000 for each such alien in the case of a person or entity previously subject to one order under this paragraph, or

 not less than $3,000 and not more than $10,000 for each such alien in the case of a person or entity previously subject to more than one order under this paragraph;  and

 may require the person or entity--

 to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section (or subsection (d) of this section if applicable) with respect to individuals hired (or recruited or referred for employment for a fee) during a period of up to three years, and

 to take such other remedial action as is appropriate.

In applying this subsection in the case of a person or entity composed of distinct, physically separate subdivisions each of which provides separately for the hiring, recruiting, or referring for employment, without reference to the practices of, and not under the control of or common control with, another subdivision, each such subdivision shall be considered a separate person or entity.

Order for civil money penalty for paperwork violations

With respect to a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section, the order under this subsection shall require the person or entity to pay a civil penalty in an amount of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each individual with respect to whom such violation occurred.  In determining the amount of the penalty, due consideration shall be given to the size of the business of the employer being charged, the good faith of the employer, the seriousness of the violation, whether or not the individual was an unauthorized alien, and the history of previous violations.

Order for prohibited indemnity bonds

With respect to a violation of subsection (g)(1) of this section, the order under this subsection may provide for the remedy described in subsection (g)(2) of this section.

Administrative appellate review

The decision and order of an administrative law judge shall become the final agency decision and order of the Attorney General unless either (A) within 30 days, an official delegated by regulation to exercise review authority over the decision and order modifies or vacates the decision and order, or (B) within 30 days of the date of such a modification or vacation (or within 60 days of the date of decision and order of an administrative law judge if not so modified or vacated) the decision and order is referred to the Attorney General pursuant to regulations, in which case the decision and order of the Attorney General shall become the final agency decision and order under this subsection.  The Attorney General may not delegate the Attorney General's authority under this paragraph to any entity which has review authority over immigration-related matters.

Judicial review

A person or entity adversely affected by a final order respecting an assessment may, within 45 days after the date the final order is issued, file a petition in the Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit for review of the order.

Enforcement of orders

If a person or entity fails to comply with a final order issued under this subsection against the person or entity, the Attorney General shall file a suit to seek compliance with the order in any appropriate district court of the United States.  In any such suit, the validity and appropriateness of the final order shall not be subject to review.

Criminal penalties and injunctions for pattern or practice violations

Criminal penalty

Any person or entity which engages in a pattern or practice of violations of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) of this section shall be fined not more than $3,000 for each unauthorized alien with respect to whom such a violation occurs, imprisoned for not more than six months for the entire pattern or practice, or both, notwithstanding the provisions of any other Federal law relating to fine levels.

Enjoining of pattern or practice violations

Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a person or entity is engaged in a pattern or practice of employment, recruitment, or referral in violation of paragraph (1)(A) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States requesting such relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against the person or entity, as the Attorney General deems necessary.

Prohibition of indemnity bonds

Prohibition

It is unlawful for a person or other entity, in the hiring, recruiting, or referring for employment of any individual, to require the individual to post a bond or security, to pay or agree to pay an amount, or otherwise to provide a financial guarantee or indemnity, against any potential liability arising under this section relating to such hiring, recruiting, or referring of the individual.

Civil penalty

Any person or entity which is determined, after notice and opportunity for an administrative hearing under subsection (e) of this section, to have violated paragraph (1) shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation and to an administrative order requiring the return of any amounts received in violation of such paragraph to the employee or, if the employee cannot be located, to the general fund of the Treasury.

Miscellaneous provisions

Documentation

In providing documentation or endorsement of authorization of aliens (other than aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence) authorized to be employed in the United States, the Attorney General shall provide that any limitations with respect to the period or type of employment or employer shall be conspicuously stated on the documentation or endorsement.

Preemption

The provisions of this section preempt any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens.

Definition of unauthorized alien

As used in this section, the term “unauthorized alien” means, with respect to the employment of an alien at a particular time, that the alien is not at that time either (A) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or (B) authorized to be so employed by this chapter or by the Attorney General.

[FN1]

 So in original.  Probably should be followed by “or”.


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