NEW YORK — Three companies headquartered in Syosset, N.Y., have partnered with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement'(ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York by joining the agency’s employment compliance program IMAGE, or “ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers.”
Richard Kleinman, and Robert Kleinman, president and chairman, respectively, of AFA Protective Systems, Inc. (AFA) and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, AFA Massachusetts, Inc. and AFA Southeast, Inc. have volunteered on behalf of each company to enter the IMAGE program. The new partnership was marked Wednesday by a ceremony at HSI New York’s main office in Manhattan.
Founded in 1873, AFA was the first central station monitored fire alarm company in the United States and now employs nearly 400 people. The NY based company designs, installs and services fire alarm systems, burglar alarm systems, CCTV systems and access control systems. Over the years, the company has applied cutting edge technology to monitor its customers’ properties: from telegraph to telephone to wireless and internet. AFA has expanded over the years, both in size and in geographic service area. AFA Massachusetts, Inc. has 45 employees and provides service to the entire New England area. AFA Southeast, Inc. has 44 employees and provides service coverage to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. AFA Protective Systems Inc. provides service coverage to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“Having been dedicated to protecting the lives and property of its customers for almost 150 years, AFA Protective Systems, Inc. is now pleased and proud to be among the first employers to partner with ICE and join the IMAGE program. It is the mission of IMAGE to help protect the citizens of the United States through careful screening of its partners’ workforces to ensure that only authorized individuals are employed in this country,” said Robert Kleinman, Chairman of AFA Protective Systems, Inc.
To qualify for IMAGE certification, partners agree to conduct a self-assessment of their hiring practices to uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited by unauthorized workers; enroll in E-verify, an employment eligibility verification program; train staff on IMAGE Best Employment Practices and the use of new screening tools; and undergo a Form I-9 audit by ICE.
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, ICE 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.
Upon enrollment and commitment to the IMAGE Best Employment Practices, program participants are deemed “IMAGE certified,” a distinction DHS and ICE believe will become an industry standard. IMAGE also provides free training to all employers on the provisions surrounding the Form I-9, fraudulent document detection and building a solid immigration compliance model.
Companies interested in more information about the IMAGE program can visit www.ICE.gov/image.