IIMAGE is a voluntary partnership initiative between the federal government and private sector employers. The initiative is designed to foster cooperative relationships and to strengthen overall hiring practices.
ICE has developed this initiative as a new concept for employer self-compliance within the worksite enforcement program, through which employers can achieve a lawful workforce through self-policing of their hiring practices.
Many people are drawn to the United States in search of jobs. U.S. companies face fines and owners face possible imprisonment if they violate laws related to employment and employment eligibility. IMAGE was developed as an avenue through which ICE could offer assistance to employers seeking to avoid hiring illegal aliens.
ICE recognizes that the highest level of employment integrity can only be achieved through close coordination with industry partners. Furthermore, industry self-policing will allow ICE to focus on other aspects of its homeland security mission.
The IMAGE program also serves to foster improved relations with private sector employers, and to help these employers to better understand their legal responsibilities when hiring.
No. However, participants in the IMAGE program are required to use E-Verify, an online employment eligibility verification system operated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, as the first of its 12 best practices.
The other best practices go beyond electronic verification to help employers who seek to maintain the integrity of their worksites.
IMAGE places an emphasis on self-policing in a company’s hiring practices. By following the prescribed steps of IMAGE, a company could lessen the likelihood of being found in violation of employment laws. IMAGE participation may be considered a mitigating factor in the determination of civil penalty (fine) amounts should they be levied.
In addition, IMAGE membership can enhance your corporate image by associating your company with sound hiring practices, and helps to secure the homeland by reducing opportunities to inadvertently hire unauthorized workers.
IMAGE was designed as a partnership initiative between the government and private sector employers. To that end, ICE is committed to working with IMAGE participants in the following ways:
E-Verify is an Web-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. More than 410,000 employers, large and small, across the United States use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees, with about 1,600 new businesses signing up each week. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it's the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce. Visit E-Verify at www.dhs.gov/E-Verify for more information.
Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires employers to verify that all employees are authorized to work and have established their identities using the Form I-9.
If the employee presented the employer with documents that reasonably appeared to be genuine and relate to the employee presenting them, you cannot be charged with a verification violation. This type of circumstance underscores the importance of why ICE is advocating participation in E-Verify for all employers.
You may request an IMAGE information packet via the Enrollment Information for Employers form.