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Contracting Agency / US Immigration Enforcement Responsibilities

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency oversees lawful immigration to the United States and is responsible for the enforcement of such laws. The USCIS manages the process that allows individuals from other countries to work in the United States. An employer is responsible for verifying every worker whom they employ or plan to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. A worker may not accept employment in the United States without being authorized to do so. Refer to the USCIS "Information for Employers and Employees."

As a condition of the contract, the contractor and its subcontractors must comply with all federal, state and local laws. As the administrator of the contract, the contracting agency has an affirmative duty or responsibility to ensure compliance with appropriate laws. Only the USCIS has the legal authority to enforce its laws and regulations.

When a suspected "illegal worker" is employed on a project funded by FHWA:

  1. The contracting agency should make a written request to the employer for proof that the subject worker is verified as eligible to work in the United States.
  2. If the contractor does not provide documents verifying the employment status of the individuals, notify the USCIS. The USCIS will proceed with enforcing the applicable immigration laws.
  3. The contracting agency may request the FHWA Division Office's assistance in coordinating issues with the UCIS on projects subject to FHWA oversight or state-administered projects.


Julie Trunk
Office of Program Administration
E-mail Julie

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Updated: 04/04/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration