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11/10/2010

First Alabama business becomes IMAGE partner with ICE.

Long's Human Resource Services in Mobile signs agreement

MOBILE, Ala. - Long's Human Resource Services in Mobile is the first Alabama business to become a member of the IMAGE program with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Short for "ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers," IMAGE provides businesses an opportunity to partner with the agency to develop a more secure and stable workforce.

At the signing ceremony today, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. said, "ICE recognizes that the highest level of employment integrity can only be achieved through close coordination with industry partners. Long's Human Resource Services will join IMAGE business participants around the country who are committed to protecting the integrity of their workforce by helping ensure that their employees are who they represent themselves to be."

Long's Human Resource Services is one of only a handful of staffing companies in the country who have undergone the rigorous IMAGE certification process. As part of this process, Long's has completed extensive training and thorough evaluation of its hiring processes.

"Our acceptance into the IMAGE program not only solidifies our position as a responsible corporate citizen, it reaffirms our pride in the diversity of our compliant workforce. The contributions of our workforce strengthen our economy and embody the American ideal of hard work," said Tom Damson, president of Long's Human Resource Services.

Undocumented workers create vulnerabilities in the marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits, and stealing identities of legal workers. The IMAGE program provides employers with screening tools to prevent unauthorized workers from being hired.

The IMAGE program was initiated in 2007 with partners from around the United States and a wide range of industries, including: employment services, aviation, transportation, construction, high technology, shipping and manufacturing. By signing the IMAGE contract for full membership, businesses establish a formal partnership with law enforcement to follow the best hiring practices recommended by the program, train their staff to uphold the high standards required by the program, and use the tools offered by the federal government to screen employees and ensure they are lawfully authorized to work.

IMAGE members work with ICE to meet the standards set by the program. In addition, they partner with ICE officials to assess their business practices and improve the way they hire, process I-9 forms, maintain employment records, and otherwise comply with U.S. laws on employment.

The E-Verify program is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Through this program, employers can verify that newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States. This Internet-based program is available in all 50 states and is free to employers. E-verify provides an automated link to the Social Security Administration database and Department of Homeland Security immigration records.

Alabama-area employers interested in the IMAGE program may contact the local IMAGE coordinator at 1-866-DHS-2ICE.