IMAGE certification – the ultimate workplace tool to protect jobs

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By D.A. King

D.A. King, a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration, is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which is active in advocating a pro-enforcement policy on immigration and employment. King is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow. He is not a member of any political party. Find him at the Dustin Inman Society.

The writer's views are his own.

February 5, 2013

A short education on the federal IMAGE certification program for pro-enforcement Americans from sea to shining sea –  HOW TO on detect identity theft and illegal labor on your local government’s employment rolls.

For pro-enforcement Americans across the nation correctly outraged at the fact that illegal alien workers are being hired while legal workers - including legal immigrants – stand in the unemployment line, a respectful suggestion: Take five minutes and learn about a federal no-cost ICE employer certification program called “IMAGE.”

Not many people fail to understand that the driving force behind the crime of illegal immigration is illegal employment. To paraphrase the official IMAGE website, illegal aliens are able to get hired in large part by using fraudulent and stolen ID.

To combat unlawful employment and reduce the chances of illegal aliens and identity theft going undetected,  ICE announced the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program in July 2006. This program assists employers in developing a more secure and stable workforce. It also enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training

The beauty of the IMAGE program is that to become IMAGE certified, the employer – public or private – must sign up for E-Verify and among other actions, must submit to a federal audit of past hiring records, called “I-9” forms for all employees. The federal audit will expose the use of false and stolen documents presented by illegal aliens during the original hiring process. Social Security records can be checked.

While it may not be easy to convince most employers to take advantage of the IMAGE certification program, you may be surprised at the ease in which you can convince your local government to become IMAGE compliant.

As an office holder, arguing with a local taxpayer at the county or city level about ignoring a free federal tool designed to find employees who used fake ID to get hired is not exactly a way to get re-elected in most of America.

Here is a brief outline of what IMAGE certification entails from the ICE Website http://www.ice.gov/image/ :

“By voluntarily participating in the IMAGE program, companies can reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents. As part of IMAGE, ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will provide education and training on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection and use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program.  Members will also learn about the importance of avoiding discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision § 274B.8 U.S.C. § 1324b.

Employers seeking certification in IMAGE must agree to:

Complete the IMAGE Self-Assessment Questionnaire (Application)

Enroll in the no-cost E-Verify program within 60 days

Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy that includes an internal Form I-9 audit at least once a year

Submit to a Form I-9 Inspection

Review and sign an official IMAGE partnership agreement with ICE

Upon enrollment and commitment to DHS' best employment practices, program participants will be deemed "IMAGE Certified" – a distinction DHS believes will become an industry standard. The results of the IMAGE program will guide DHS in shaping future worksite enforcement policy and legislation…”

From experience, I can assure the reader that only good things will happen if you educate yourself and your local elected officials on the worth of using the IMAGE program to find and expose black-market labor on official government employment rolls.

Here where we live in Cobb County Georgia, our local Board of Commissioners signed an agreement with ICE to become IMAGE compliant last May.

Do try this at home!

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