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Compliance with Immigration Protocols Remains Critical for Dairies

November 12, 2013
By: Catherine Merlo, Dairy Today Western and Online Editor google + 
Raimondo at EPBC
The Obama Administration has ramped up spending on immigration enforcement, Anthony Raimondo said Tuesday at the Elite Producer Business Conference in Las Vegas. (Photo: Wyatt Bechtel)  

Attorney Anthony Raimondo says ramped-up immigration enforcement and more I-9 audits mean producers must protect themselves.

Despite the uncertainty of immigration reform, dairy producers must protect themselves by complying with current labor protocols, attorney Anthony Raimondo told an audience of dairy producers and industry representatives Tuesday at the 12th annual Elite Producer Business Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

That compliance starts with being certain your dairy has completed I-9 employment verification forms for all new hires, including U.S. citizens, Raimondo said.

"The I-9 Form gives you a clean, clear way to comply with immigration protocols," Raimondo said. "It’s suicidal not to use them in your business."

Speaking before the audience of some 450 people, Raimondo also emphasized these protocol points:

• Make sure that all staff that process new hires are trained to properly complete the I-9 process.

• Periodically audit I-9s to make sure they are properly processing new hires. Incomplete or improperly completed I-9 Forms will result in exposure to liability.

• Complete the forms at the same point in the employment process for all employees - after you have made the decision to hire the person.

• Be certain you keep I-9 forms on file for three years after the date of hire or for one year after termination of employment, whichever date is later.

The Obama Administration has ramped up spending on immigration enforcement, shelling out $18 billion in fiscal year 2012. "That’s more than was spent by all other federal law enforcement agencies combined," Raimondo said.

Both 2012 and 2011 were record years for deportations. In 2012, nearly 410,000 undocumented immigrants were removed from the U.S., an increase of 14,000 from the previous year. Most have been convicted criminals. At the same time, there have been fewer arrests in the interior U.S., Raimondo said.

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