The I-9 Process and Antidiscrimination Protections in the INA

The I-9 Process and Antidiscrimination Protections in the INA


Prior to 1986, it was not unlawful for an employer to hire “undocumented” workers— workers who lack authorization to work in the United States. As a result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, however, it is unlawful for any employer to knowingly hire a worker who is not authorized to work in this country.

To comply with the law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all employees hired after November 6, 1986, and to complete a special government form— the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form, or “Form I-9” for short—for each new hire. This procedure is binding on all employers, regardless of size.

The antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, provides protections to employees who may face discrimination based on national origin, citizenship status, or the documents presented to establish employment eligibility—or who may be retaliated against for asserting their employment-related rights under the INA.

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