PHOENIX - A Phoenix-area technology company has become the latest Arizona employer to join a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program designed to strengthen hiring practices and reduce unauthorized employment.
SUMCO Phoenix Corporation recently signed an agreement to participate in IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers), a voluntary program in which ICE partners with businesses to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents. SUMCO received its certificate earlier this month formally marking the firm’s entry into the program.
As the 40th Arizona business to sign up for IMAGE, SUMCO has agreed to partner with ICE and perform the actions required to obtain IMAGE certification. These actions include conducting a self-assessment of hiring practices to uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited by unauthorized workers; enrolling in E-verify, an employment eligibility verification program; training staff on IMAGE Best Employment Practices and the use of new screening tools; and undergoing a Form I-9 audit by ICE.
“We’re proud to be accepted as the 40th member of the Arizona IMAGE program,” said SUMCO Vice President Tom Mackey, who oversees the firm’s human resources, general affairs, and purchasing divisions. “We’re committed to using the ICE best employment practices and protecting jobs for legally authorized workers.”
Established in 1997, SUMCO is marking its 20th year as a manufacturer of electronic-grade silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry. The wafers are used by companies worldwide to make integrated circuits and semiconductor devices that power a myriad of products, from computers and cell phones, to digital watches and automobile engine systems. The company, which has a workforce of about 600 employees, operates two manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
All IMAGE members must participate in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify employment eligibility verification program. The program enables businesses to verify that newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States. The internet-based system, which provides an automated link to the Social Security Administration’s database and DHS immigration records, is available nationwide at no cost to employers.
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.
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 Phoenix at 602-407-6155 or visit www.ICE.gov/image.