On November 24, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which may have a long term impact on the construction industry.  In this case, an immigrant used the identities and documents of U.S. citizens when he completed the various I-9 forms to work at two different employers.  The immigrant had entered into an agreement with another individual who would keep the immigrant's earnings but provide him with housing, calling cards and living expenses.  The immigrant later married a U.S. citizen and sought to adjust his status to that of a lawful permanent resident.  The matter was litigated before the Board of Immigration Appeals which determined that the immigrant should be deported and that he could not adjust his status because of a portion of the INA prohibiting a "false claim."  On appeal, the Court agreed with the Board and rejected all of the arguments of the immigrant and concluded that the immigrant had "falsely represented himself" to be a citizen of the U.S. Enforcement of various provisions of the INA remains in doubt in light of President Obama's latest Executive Order and the lawsuit filed against him by numerous states claiming that the Executive Order is not authorized by the INA.  The November 24 decision, however, does underscore the enforceability of the "false claim" section of the INA and enforcement of this part of the INA could have a long term impact on the construction industry.  Stay tuned.
 
By Bill Harding, Chapter Attorney