NEW YORK — A Queens aerospace company has partnered with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by joining the agency's employment compliance program IMAGE, or "ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers."
Ellanef Manufacturing Corporation, a manufacturer of precision machined parts and assemblies for military and commercial aircraft in the aerospace industry has entered into an agreement with ICE to protect the integrity of their workforce. The new partnership was marked Thursday by a formal ceremony at ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
In a separate ceremony, microMedia Imaging Systems, Inc., a document hosting services company based in Lake Success, N.Y., who agreed to join IMAGE last year, is now an officially certified IMAGE partner.
IMAGE is a voluntary partnership that helps companies maintain a lawful workforce.
"Ellanef Manufacturing Corporation's alliance with ICE highlights the company's commitment to protect the integrity of its workforce," said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New York. "HSI values its collaboration with businesses that strive to maintain impeccable national standards for our workforce."
"Becoming an active participant in IMAGE, and most specifically E-Verify, helps insure Ellanef hires and retains employees authorized to work in the United States, and also minimizes the use of fraudulent documents an applicant might use to gain employment," said Phil Dissinger, director of human resources/health and safety for Ellanef. "Participation in IMAGE also helps improve and strengthens our homeland security efforts."
"microMEDIA Imaging Systems, Inc. is proud to be a part of the IMAGE program that is under the direction of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations. This program allows us to confirm eligibility of associates to work legally within the United States," said Joseph Wise, president of microMedia. "It also shows our commitment to our clients regarding some of the measures we take in combination with regular background checks and drug testing. Our company uses these tools to ensure that we employ the most qualified employees."
Ellanef is the largest company in the HSI New York office area of responsibility to participate in the IMAGE program to date. Its products include major structural components (bulkheads, wing spars, longerons, etc.), landing gear and landing gear components and mechanical/electro-mechanical/hydraulic assemblies. The company was founded in 1940 and is based in Corona, Queens, New York. As of June 14, 1999, Ellanef operates as a subsidiary of Magellan Aerospace.
microMEDIA is a leader in the image conversion marketplace. Whether information is contained on film; in important hospital files, architectural drawings or blueprints; legal documents; financial reports and statements; magazines or any other documentation, microMEDIA can scan and place the information in a format used on hard disks. Our associates are highly qualified and all work is kept strictly confidential. microMEDIA is in the forefront of the electronic age to decrease the present way documentation is kept and take advantage of today's technology advantages.
HSI's employer-focused worksite enforcement strategy has yielded historic results. In fiscal year 2011 ICE conducted 2,496 Form I-9 audits nationally, up from 503 in fiscal year 2008. During the same period, 221 employers were arrested and final orders for $10,463,987 in fines were assessed. As a result of workforce violations, 115 individuals and 97 businesses were debarred from federal contracts in 2011.
Businesses that partner with ICE through the IMAGE program maintain a secure and stable workforce, and curtail the employment of unauthorized workers through outreach and education. ICE recently revamped IMAGE, simplifying program requirements.
To qualify for IMAGE certification, companies must perform the following requirements:
- Enroll in the E-Verify program within 60 days;
- Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy that includes internal Form I-9 audits at least once per year; and
- Submit to a Form I-9 inspection.
Undocumented workers create vulnerabilities in today's marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits and stealing identities of legal United States workers. To combat this, HSI initiated the IMAGE program in 2006.
All IMAGE members must participate in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) E-Verify employment eligibility verification program. Through this program, employers can verify that newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States. This Internet-based system is available throughout the nation and is free to employers. It provides an automated link to the Social Security Administration database and DHS immigration records.
Companies interested in more information on the IMAGE program can call HSI New York at (212) 264-3706, or visit www.ICE.gov/image.