Constructor - July/August 2017 - 41

BY KATIE KUEHNER-HEBERT
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HAS prom-

ised a crackdown on undocumented people living and working in the U.S., which
could impact contractors who hire them-
unwittingly or not.
While a judge has blocked Trump's
executive order to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities that don't cooperate with immigration enforcement, if the
injunction is lifted or if the administration finds other ways to force those cities
to cooperate, the construction industry
could feel the effects on its workforce,
says Michael Kelsheimer, a partner at Gray
Reed & McGraw LLP, a TEXO and Houston
Chapter member, in Dallas.
"If those cities begin to more heavily enforce the immigration laws in order
to keep their federal funding, then that
will cut down on the number of undocumented workers available in and around
those counties," Kelsheimer says. "In some
sense, people might say that's a good
thing, but whether people like it or not,
undocumented workers will all disappear,
and then there will be a shortage issue."
In certain trades, such as concrete and
masonry, there are already massive workforce shortages, says J.P. Vogel, another
partner at Gray Reed & McGraw LLP in
Dallas. When subcontractors in those
trades become stretched trying to meet
contractual obligations to finish projects
on time while also starting additional projects, sometimes they might hire workers
who are undocumented.
"In a majority of contracts, penalties
are almost always associated with failing
to complete work on time, and so many
contractors choose to roll the dice and
not verify whether or not their crew is
documented," Vogel says.

PROSECUTION PROBE
Another executive order signed by
Trump calls for expanding the prosecutorial discretion of the U.S. Immigration

@Constr uctor Ma g

and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well
as the hiring of more ICE agents, which
could also impact the construction industry, says Phillip W. Pemberton, an attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak &
Stewart P.C., a member of multiple AGC
chapters, in Denver.
While the Obama administration criminally prosecuted employers and undocumented workers, the Trump administration
is expanding prosecutorial discretion,
in part by expanding the definition of
'criminal' for purposes of being deported,
Pemberton says.
"Before there was a hierarchy under
the Obama administration of what types of
individuals would be considered a priority
for removal, but now that hierarchy essentially has been nuked," he says. "Now
there is no priority-any felony case can
be prosecuted. This also includes cases in
which the person has committed the acts
to be charged, but not even convicted of
the charge. For example, someone who
fraudulently completes a Form I-9 but
hasn't been charged for those acts."
Prosecutorial discretion also includes
going after people who have willfully misrepresented that they are in the U.S. lawfully, which means that the agency could
expand that to anyone in the country that
is undocumented, Pemberton says.
"But from a practical standpoint, that
would cause a political firestorm, and we
haven't seen evidence of ICE going to the
point of deporting every single undocumented worker," he says.

WHAT IFS
If a contractor starts to suspect that
they have unwittingly hired an undocumented worker, there is little they can
do about it until that worker gives them
direct evidence, or evidence comes to the
contractor in some way, that the worker is
undocumented, Kelsheimer says. As long
as the worker has properly completed the

I-9 process at the beginning of employment, employers can't subsequently ask
them to provide extra information or the
worker can file a discrimination claim.
The Form I-9 is the document that
employers must complete for every
employee to ascertain whether or not the
person has a right to work in the U.S.
"This is not just to determine whether
or not they are an undocumented worker,
but it's also to ascertain whether or not
foreign-based workers with H-1B or H-2B
visas have expired," he says.
An employer should terminate an
undocumented worker's employment if the
person confesses that they are undocumented or if the employer finds out via
an audit by the Department of Homeland
Security, a mismatch letter from Social
Security, an unusual event in the workplace, or substantiated rumors, among
other ways, Pemberton says. When in doubt
about documentation or whether something
could lead to knowledge that a person is in
the U.S illegally, it is best to reach out to a
competent immigration attorney.
It's important to be sensitive to discrimination concerns associated with
undocumented immigrants, he says.
"There are two train tracks-on the
one side is ICE making sure no undocumented people are in the workforce, and
the other is the Immigrant and Employee
Rights Section of the Department of Justice
trying to ensure that employers are not
discriminating based on national origin,"
Pemberton says. "Employers have to make
sure they stay between those parallel train
tracks so they won't get into trouble."
An example of what the DOJ would consider "document abuse" would be asking
a person who has already produced the
appropriate documentation to reproduce
their green card to see if it has expired, he
says. In addition, requiring an employee
to complete a new I-9 form or running an
employee through the E-Verify database

J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 | www.constructormagazine.com 41


http://www.constructormagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - July/August 2017

Editor’s Note
President’s Message
Ceo’s Letter
Automation on the Jobsite
Simonson Says
Students Pave the Way for a Bright Construction Future
A Diversified Portfolio
Deadline for OSHA Crane Operator Certification and Qualification Approaches
Chapter Connection
Changes to Immigration Policy Could Impact Contractors
Agc in Action
Be Wreck-Less
Raze the Roof
2017 Construction Safety Excellence Award Winners
Huddleston Elementary School Renovation Project Grabs 2017 Alliant Build America Award
Inside Agc
Legislative and Regulatory News
Senior Counsel
Technology Toolbox
Westport Presbyterian Church Reconstruction Project Secures 2017 Alliant Build America Award
2017 Regional Resource Guide - A Special Advertising Section
Products & Services Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
Final Inspection
Constructor - July/August 2017 - intro
Constructor - July/August 2017 - cover1
Constructor - July/August 2017 - cover2
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 3
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 4
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 5
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 6
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 7
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 8
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 9
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 10
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Editor’s Note
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 12
Constructor - July/August 2017 - President’s Message
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 14
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Ceo’s Letter
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Automation on the Jobsite
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 17
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 18
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 19
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 20
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 21
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 22
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Simonson Says
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Students Pave the Way for a Bright Construction Future
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 25
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 26
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 27
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 28
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 29
Constructor - July/August 2017 - A Diversified Portfolio
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 31
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 32
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 33
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 34
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 35
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Deadline for OSHA Crane Operator Certification and Qualification Approaches
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 37
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 38
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Chapter Connection
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Changes to Immigration Policy Could Impact Contractors
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 41
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 42
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 43
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Agc in Action
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 45
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Be Wreck-Less
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 47
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Raze the Roof
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 49
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 50
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 51
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 2017 Construction Safety Excellence Award Winners
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 53
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 54
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Huddleston Elementary School Renovation Project Grabs 2017 Alliant Build America Award
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 56
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 57
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Inside Agc
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 59
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 60
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Legislative and Regulatory News
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Senior Counsel
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 63
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 64
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Technology Toolbox
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Westport Presbyterian Church Reconstruction Project Secures 2017 Alliant Build America Award
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 67
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 2017 Regional Resource Guide - A Special Advertising Section
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 69
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 70
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 71
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 72
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 73
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 74
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 75
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 76
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 77
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 78
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 79
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 80
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 82
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 83
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 86
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 88
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 89
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 90
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 91
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 94
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 96
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 97
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 98
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 99
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 100
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 101
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 103
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 104
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 105
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 106
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 107
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 109
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 111
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 112
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 113
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 114
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 116
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 117
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 118
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 119
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 120
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 121
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Constructor - July/August 2017 - 123
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 124
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 125
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 126
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 127
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 128
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 129
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 130
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 131
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 132
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 133
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 134
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 135
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 136
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 137
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 138
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 139
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 140
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 141
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 142
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 143
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Products & Services Marketplace
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 145
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 146
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 147
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Index to Advertisers
Constructor - July/August 2017 - 149
Constructor - July/August 2017 - Final Inspection
Constructor - July/August 2017 - cover3
Constructor - July/August 2017 - cover4
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