Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Temporary Policies Related to COVID-19, I-9, and REAL ID Policies
- I-9 Policy:
- List B: DHS has announced that, Form I-9 identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes. DHS has issued special instructions for how employers should fill out form I-9 if this policy is utilized, and when an employee must submit an updated or replacement List B document after this temporary policy ends. Any concerned practitioners or employers should review the announcement in full for details.
- In-person Inspection: DHS and ICE announced flexibility in complying with requirements related inspecting forms in-person for to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19. This temporary policy was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020, but was subsequently extended several times. On May. 1, 2022, the policy was further extended until Oct. 30, 2022. See the latest extension announcement here.
- REAL ID: On March 26, 2020, DHS announced the extension of the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current Oct. 1, 2020, deadline until Oct. 1, 2021. DHS has subsequently provided another 19-month delay and the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 3, 2023. An interim rule was published in the Federal Register on May 3, 2021.
- Title 42: On Mar. 20, 2020, the CDC under the Trump administration issued an order pursuant to its public health authority under Title 42, allowing DHS to exclude anyone from the United States — - without regard for claims for asylum or the need of protection — - to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States. The Biden administration has continued to carry out expulsions based on this order.
- On April 1, 2022, the CDC announced that it would terminate Title 42, effective May 23, 2022. However, on May 20, 2022, a Louisiana district court issued a preliminary injunction, enjoining the CDC from terminating Title 42 restrictions on border processing.
- Although the CDC has appealed the injunction to the Fifth Circuit, it did not request a stay of the district court’s injunction. As a result, Title 42 remains in place.
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