Restaurant Law Blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Changes to Immigration Policy Might Affect the Restaurant Industry

Are my employees affected by the President's executive actions on immigration?

Immigration is a hot button political issue. Despite varying views from political parties and people around the country, the reality is that much of the restaurant industry would cease to function without immigrant labor.

Recent executive action by President Obama expanded some immigration programs. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security are the federal agencies charged with implementing the actions in the upcoming months.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was expanded. Generally, this program assists individuals who were brought to the United States as children (before the age of 16); they do not have lawful status, but they did not choose to come here illegally. Deferred action does not provide lawful status, but it defers any removal action and authorizes a person to be present in the United States for a specified period of time.

DACA recipients may be eligible for employment authorization and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The expanded DACA program extends employment authorization from two to three years.

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (also known as DAPA) is available to undocumented individuals living in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010 who have a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applicants cannot be an enforcement priority for removal (such as being a threat to national security and public safety).

Restaurants must still complete all necessary government documents pertaining to hiring a new employee, such as I-9 forms, and take steps to ensure employees can legally work in the United States. If you do not use E-Verify, you must still make good faith efforts to verify the eligibility of job candidates.

If you own or manage a restaurant in the New York City area and have questions about employee documentation, the restaurant law attorneys at the DiPasquale Law Group are available by calling (646)383-4607.


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