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01/20/2011

Top Story: ICE welcomes Tyson Foods Inc., as new IMAGE member

Tyson Foods Inc., "Doing What's Right" in maintaining a legal workforce

ICE welcomes Tyson Foods Inc., as new IMAGE member
ICE welcomes Tyson Foods, Inc., as new IMAGE member

Due to overwhelming response, registration for the 2011 IMAGE Training Workshop is closed. Thanks for your interest in this year's event. We hope to see you next year!

Each year undocumented workers use fraudulent means to obtain employment. ICE's IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) Program strives to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents by educating employers on proper hiring procedures. If you own a company or are responsible for hiring new employees, we invite you to attend our upcoming training workshop: Fostering Compliance through Education and Partnership. You will learn how to implement IMAGE best practices, establish an immigration compliance program, develop proper hiring procedures, detect fraudulent documents and use E-verify to ensure that your employees are eligible for employment in the U.S.

Date: March 22 or March 23 (Attendees should register for one day. The same topics will be covered both days.)

Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Los Angeles Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse
5801 Slauson Ave.
Commerce, Calif.

For more information on the IMAGE program, including our recommended 12 Best Hiring Practices, see our website at www.ice.gov/image/ or email image@dhs.gov.

"Doing What's Right!" is more than a slogan for Tyson Foods, Inc., the newest member of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE). It's a company program, a description of their business culture and a principle spelled out in their company code of conduct.

Doing what's right means abiding by U.S. law, which requires that companies employ only individuals legally permitted to work in the United States-either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have necessary authorization. IMAGE is the program that encourages companies to learn and follow best hiring practices and, therefore, help maintain a legal workforce throughout the United States.

Tyson, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500, officially signed the IMAGE agreement on Jan. 20, 2011 at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., becoming the 114th program member.

The Arkansas-based company, founded in 1935, employs approximately 115,000 people who work in more than 400 facilities in the U.S. and around the world. Tyson is a recognized leader in the food industry and has been a long-standing supporter of the best hiring practices that IMAGE urges business owners to adapt.

"Tyson Foods already had very strong hiring policies in place that mirrored our IMAGE best practices. It was just a matter of verifying that process and completing the Form I-9 inspection," said Deputy Assistant Director of the ICE Transnational Crime and Public Safety Division James Spero who has been working closely with Tyson officials in the IMAGE participation process.

In addition to following IMAGE membership requisites, Tyson has taken their own added measures to ensure workforce compliance. For instance, Tyson trains its hiring staff in Form I-9 (employment eligibility verification) completion, document examination and fraud detection; set up a help line for reporting unauthorized workers or illegal activity and tracks identity fraud trends.

"We have zero tolerance for employing people who are not authorized to work in the United States," said Tyson Foods President and Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith. "Becoming a full-fledged member of IMAGE confirms our commitment to the government's best hiring practices. We intend to continue enhancing our efforts as improvements, additional government tools and other program become available."

IMAGE was initiated in 2006 as a means to help both big and small businesses combat unlawful employment and reduce the vulnerabilities that help undocumented workers gain such employment. Today, 86 IMAGE coordinators travel the country, training and educating industry members. These dedicated men and women teach companies how to maintain a lawful workforce as well as explain why voluntarily partnering with ICE is beneficial to businesses.

ICE coordinators discuss with prospective IMAGE members proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection, Social Security Number Verification Service, anti-discrimination procedures and using E-Verify. E-Verify is the Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an ICE sister agency under the Department of Homeland Security, manages E-Verify.

A company that participates in IMAGE not only receives ICE training, but it also gets a boost to its reputation as proof to the public that it's a law-abiding businesses.

"We are delighted to welcome Tyson Foods as an IMAGE member," said ICE Director John Morton. "As a major leader in their industry, Tyson is setting a standard for other industry leaders. Their participation in IMAGE also speaks volumes about their values to the communities they serve."

To learn more about IMAGE, including how to participate in the program, go to http://www.ice.gov/image/.

Read the news release.