Greenberg Traurig, LLP  


Immigration News Flash

July 26, 2010

ICE Updates Best Practices for IMAGE Program

Employers seeking to participate in the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (or IMAGE) program must agree to certain conditions, including adhering to IMAGE Best Employment Practices:

  • Use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.
  • Use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) and make a good faith effort to correct and verify the names and Social Security numbers of the current workforce.
  • Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy.
  • Establish an internal compliance and training program related to the hiring and employment verification process, including completion of Form I-9, how to detect fraudulent use of documents in the verification process, and how to use E-Verify and SSNVS.
  • Require the Form I-9 and E-Verify process to be conducted only by individuals who have received appropriate training and include a secondary review as part of each employee's verification to minimize the potential for a single individual to subvert the process.
  • Arrange for annual Form I-9 audits by an external auditing firm or a trained employee not otherwise involved in the Form I-9 process.
  • Establish a procedure to report to ICE credible information of suspected criminal misconduct in the employment eligibility verification process.
  • Establish a program to assess subcontractors' compliance with employment eligibility verification requirements. Encourage contractors to incorporate IMAGE Best Practices and when practicable incorporate the verification requirements in subcontractor agreements.
  • Establish a protocol for responding to letters received from federal and state government agencies indicating that there is a discrepancy between the agency's information and the information provided by the employer or employee (for example, "no match" letters received from the Social Security Administration).
  • Establish a tip line mechanism (inbox, e-mail, etc.) for employees to report activity relating to the employment of unauthorized workers, and a protocol for responding to employee tips.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate policies, practices and safeguards against use of the verification process for unlawful discrimination, and to ensure that U.S. citizens and authorized workers do not face discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee because of citizenship status or national origin.
  • Maintain copies of any documents accepted as proof of identity and/or employment authorization for all new hires.
    ICE is holding a training event on August 9 and 10, which will address implementation of the new IMAGE practices. Other topics will include Establishing an immigration compliance program, proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection, use of E-Verify, and anti-discrimination procedures.

Join GT for events in conjunction with the government sponsored training by ICE on its IMAGE program on August 9 and 10, 2010 at The Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City. Both the ICE and GT registrations are complimentary. Register for this event at