On September 10, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") filed another unopposed motion to vacate the status conference scheduled for Friday, September 12, 2008, in the pending no-match letter lawsuit. The DHS requested that the court reset the status conference to October 31, 2008, or later. Since the motion is unopposed (that means the other party has agreed), it is expected that the court will grant the motion and enter an order setting a new status conference date.
It is unlikely that the DHS will take any further action prior to the November elections to implement the no-match letter rule. This delays the implementation of the proposed no-match rule ever closer to 2009, meaning that either Congress or a new presidential administration may step in to address this situation before the no-match rule becomes the law of the land.
Regardless of whether or when the no-match letter rule is ultimately implemented, all businesses should take precautionary steps to ensure that they understand their duties and obligations under the immigration laws. Such steps include:
- Reviewing I-9 (Employment Eligibility and Verification form) procedures to ensure that the company, its agents, and employees understand and act in compliance with federal law.
- Conducting annual audits and training in proper I-9 procedures to avoid future criminal and civil liability.
- Where necessary, seeking assistance from competent legal counsel in the development of policies and procedures, auditing of I-9 records, and training of employees.
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