§ 3107 : OFFICE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE ADVOCATE.
ESTABLISHMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE ADVOCATE.—The Secretary shall establish and maintain within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the Office of the Small Business and Employee Advocate (in this section referred to as the Office). The purpose of the Office shall be to assist small businesses and individuals in complying with the requirements of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a), as amended by this Act, including the resolution of conflicts arising in the course of attempted compliance with such requirements.
FUNCTIONS.—The functions of the Office shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Informing small businesses and individuals about the verification practices required by section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, including, but not limited to, the document verification requirements and the employment verification system requirements under subsections (c) and (d) of that section.
Assisting small businesses and individuals in addressing allegedly erroneous further action notices and nonconfirmations issued under subsection (d) of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Informing small businesses and individuals of the financial liabilities and criminal penalties that apply to violations and failures to comply with the requirements of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, including, but not limited to, by issuing best practices for compliance with that section.
To the extent practicable, proposing changes to the Secretary in the administrative practices of the employment verification system required under subsection (d) of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act to mitigate the problems identified under paragraph (2).
Making recommendations through the Secretary to Congress for legislative action to mitigate such problems.
AUTHORITY TO ISSUE ASSISTANCE ORDER.—
IN GENERAL.—Upon application filed by a small business or individual with the Office (in such form, manner, and at such time as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe), the Office may issue an assistance order if—
the Office determines the small business or individual is suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the manner in which the employment verification laws under subsections (c) and (d) of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act are being administered by the Secretary; or
the small business or individual meets such other requirements as are set forth in regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
DETERMINATION OF HARDSHIP.—For purposes of paragraph (1), a significant hardship shall include—
an immediate threat of adverse action;
a delay of more than 60 days in resolving employment verification system problems;
the incurring by the small business or individual of significant costs if relief is not granted; or
irreparable injury to, or a long-term adverse impact on, the small business or individual if relief is not granted.
STANDARDS WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDANCE NOT FOLLOWED.—In cases where a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employee is not following applicable published administrative guidance, the Office shall construe the factors taken into account in determining whether to issue an assistance order under this subsection in the manner most favorable to the small business or individual.
TERMS OF ASSISTANCE ORDER.—The terms of an assistance order under this subsection may require the Secretary within a specified time period—
AUTHORITY TO MODIFY OR RESCIND.—Any assistance order issued by the Office under this subsection may be modified or rescinded—
only by the Office, the Director or Deputy Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the Secretary or the Secretary’s designee; and
if rescinded by the Director or Deputy Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, only if a written explanation of the reasons of such official for the modification or rescission is provided to the Office.
SUSPENSION OF RUNNING OF PERIOD OF LIMITATION.—The running of any period of limitation with respect to an action described in paragraph (4)(A) shall be suspended for—
the period beginning on the date of the small business or individual’s application under paragraph (1) and ending on the date of the Office’s decision with respect to such application; and
any period specified by the Office in an assistance order issued under this subsection pursuant to such application.
INDEPENDENT ACTION OF OFFICE.—Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Office from taking any action in the absence of an application under paragraph (1).
ACCESSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC.—
IN PERSON, ONLINE, AND TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE.—The Office shall provide information and assistance specified in subsection (b) in person at locations designated by the Secretary, online through an Internet website of the Department available to the public, and by telephone.
AVAILABILITY TO ALL EMPLOYERS.—In making information and assistance available, the Office shall prioritize the needs of small businesses and individuals. However, the information and assistance available through the Office shall be available to any employer.
AVOIDING DUPLICATION THROUGH COORDINATION.—In the discharge of the functions of the Office, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Commissioner, the Attorney General, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration in order to avoid duplication of efforts across the Federal Government.
DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
FUNDING.—There shall be appropriated, from the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund established by section 6(a)(1) of this Act, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Office.[end]