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The 1986 Immigration Act: a handbook on employer sanctions and nondiscrimination requirements.

The 1986 Immigration Act: A Handbook on Employer Sanctions and Nondiscrimination Requirements.

By G. John Tysse. Washington, National Foundation for the Study of Equal Employment Policy, 1987. 137 pp. $15, paper.

The purpose of this Handbook is to provide information to employers about employment provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986--landmark legislation that, for the first time, makes it unlawful for employers to hire illegal aliens.

The handbook focuses on two provisions of the law: the system of procedures and penalties prohibiting the hiring of illegal workers, and, related to that, the provision prohibiting employers from discriminating against job applicants because of their national origin or citizenship status. (The first provision generally is referred to as "employer sanctions' and the second as "nondiscrimination requirements.')

The Handbook offers helpful suggestions, in addition to succinctly explaining procedures and requirements. Here are a few examples: In the section on employment verification procedures, it gives the telephone number of the Immigration and Naturalization Service official who is responsible for providing assistance to employers. In another section, pointing out that it is unlawful to knowingly hire illegal aliens, it says, "The key here is knowledge. The burden will be on the government to show that an employer knowingly hired an illegal alien. Employers who in good faith comply with the verification procedures . . . are not likely to be found guilty of a knowing violation, even where illegals are hired (for example, because of fraudulent documents)' (p. 20). Also, the section "Steps to Consider Now' (on the nondiscrimination requirements) provides practical advice to employers. For example: "Eliminate "citizens only' hiring policies immediately, unless the policy is specifically required by law' (p. 93).

The Handbook also provides a summary of the employment-related aspects of the "legalization' provision that permits illegal aliens who have lived in the United States since January 1982 to establish legal residence. It includes, too, the full text of the law. The Handbook does not deal with the provisions specific to employment in agriculture. Nor does it go beyond employment matters into other aspects of the law.

The "acknowledgments' section refers to the Handbook as a training program, while the foreword suggests it be used as a reference. For either purpose, it is timely, well organized, and instructive. Although there is a good deal of attention to legal procedures, only an occasional sentence is somewhat difficult to understand.

As noted in the Handbook, however, it does not cover all the information that may be needed by employers. It was published before many of the regulations and interpretations of the law were formulated, and therefore will need updating.

The Handbook, written by G. John Tysse, a partner in a law firm that represents employers on labor and employment law issues, should provide a useful source of information to the employer community.
COPYRIGHT 1987 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Sehgal, Ellen
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1987
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