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ICE employees help businesses with immigration and hiring laws

Morgan Aguilar
May 18, 2017 06:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees were in Albuquerque Thursday teaching local business leaders how to make sure they're following the law regarding hiring practices and immigration.

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Immigration arrests are up nearly 40 percent since this time last year, according to data released Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan says the statistics reflect President Donald Trump’s commitment to enforce immigration laws.

The crackdown doesn’t only apply to ICE officers. Local businesses are also required to make sure they know the people they hire are legally authorized to work in the U.S.

ICE employees helped local business leaders Thursday through the complicated but important process. Employers can face fines and lawsuits if they hire someone who is unauthorized.

“We want to make sure that we're being compliant just with you know customs, immigration status and that we're always following regulations,” said Gina Lewis, Human Resources Manager for Ambercare.

The home healthcare agency has several locations throughout New Mexico. This is the second time Ambercare representatives have attended the free ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) training.

ICE employees travel around the country, teaching local business leaders how to check for employee eligibility.

"We have come across instances where perhaps maybe the documents, I don't want to say real, not real, but there is an instance where we question that,” said Lewis. “So we need to have that training."

No matter how big or small the business, employers are required to fill out an I-9 form for everyone they hire.

"We actually instituted E-Verify which is a process that's all done online and we did that as of last year actually thanks to this training,” said Lewis. “So things have run really smoothly since that."

Business leaders interested in attending a future IMAGE training can email: ABQ.IMAGE@ice.dhs.gov.

More information is also available at: www.ice.gov/image

For more info, you can also call (505) 452-4925.

Credits

Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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