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07/13/2010

First New Jersey business becomes IMAGE partner with ICE

ACCU Staffing Group in Cherry Hill signs agreement

NEWARK, N.J. - ACCU Staffing Group in Cherry Hill, N.J. is the first New Jersey 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 yesterday, Special Agent in Charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in New Jersey, Peter T. Edge, said, "As a new partner in the IMAGE program, ACCU Staffing Services demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that the employees they provide to their clients are authorized to work in the United States. They will be using the numerous tools offered by the program to ensure their staff is trained in the proper procedures for completing I-9s and processing E-Verify."

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

"Our acceptance into the IMAGE Program not only fortifies our position as a responsible corporate citizen, it reaffirms our pride in the diversity of our compliant workforce. Their contributions strengthen our economy and embody the American ideal of hard work," said Edward J. Damm, executive vice president of ACCU Staffing Services.

The IMAGE program was initiated in 2007 with partners from around the United State 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.

Associate 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.

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

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.