SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based manufacturing company specializing in advanced traffic equipment and transportation systems has become the latest area business to partner with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) by joining the agency’s employment compliance program IMAGE, or “ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers.”
McCain Inc., which began operations in 1987, is the 16th San Diego-area business to become an IMAGE member. IMAGE is a voluntary partnership that helps employers maintain a lawful workforce and reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.
“2014 was a record-breaking year for McCain marked in part by an unprecedented hiring spur,” said Jo Ann Mills, vice president of human resources for McCain. “Participating in the IMAGE program reassures our team members and customers, many of whom are state and local agencies, that McCain observes lawful, non-discriminatory best practices for employment.”
McCain Inc. is a privately held company that specializes in products used in transportation systems to promote urban mobility in cities throughout the U.S. The firm’s two largest manufacturing facilities are located in Southern California and Mexico.
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 in 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 on the IMAGE program can call HSI San Diego at (619) 550-5205 or visit www.ICE.gov/image.