With over 30 years of experience in business immigration law, Scott Wright is recognized nationally for his proficiency in I-9 and immigration compliance matters. Scott also counsels on immigration issues that arise in employment decisions, mergers and acquisitions, government audits and investigations, and labor law disputes.
Government Audits, Investigations & Enforcement
Scott represents and advises employers on a national basis who are subject to I-9 audits and other immigration-related investigations and enforcement actions involving several federal agencies, including:
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Department of Justice (DOJ), Immigrant & Employee Rights (IER) Section
- Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS)
- Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
- Department of State (DOS)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
Scott and his team have extensive expertise in advising and representing employers in connection with subpoenas, warrants, document production, witness interviews and other administrative and appellate processes involved with immigration- and visa-related matters before these agencies and other agencies.
Scott regularly works with the attorneys of Faegre Drinker’s White Collar Defense & Investigations practice to advise on litigation matters which involve immigration law issues.
Scott guides companies in managing internal investigations, in particular relating to allegations of potential immigration or visa-related fraud, identity theft, misuse of social security numbers and allegations of illegal employment.
Scott regularly works with senior in-house lawyers and human resources executives to develop and implement company policies and best practices for I-9 processes, E-Verify, and protocol for internal fraud investigations. Scott has over 25 years of experience in providing training to human resources professionals, recruiters, hiring managers, business owners, and internal auditing personnel on I-9 completion and recordkeeping, including through the use of ‘live’ interactive webinars to reach attendees across the country.
HR Support & Counseling
Scott and his team partner with in-house lawyers and human resources professionals of companies throughout the country to provide fast, efficient, and practical advice to address urgent day-to-day I-9, E-Verify, and other immigration-complex issues that arise in the workplace. This work includes guidance on the many and fast-changing immigration-related policies being issued in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic by DHS, the State Department, and other agencies. Scott works with clients in the preparation and filing of petitions with USCIS to secure work visas in many different classifications, including for top global talent, for example, who qualify to work in the U.S. with O-1 Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Arts, or Business, L-1 Intracompany Transferee, and E-2 Treaty Investor visas.
Foreign Investor & Entrepreneur Advice
Scott advises businesses and investors on immigration, business and employment issues related to foreign investment options connected with the federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, EB-5 regional centers, and temporary (E-1/E-2) work visas available through investment and the establishment of new businesses and corporate entities in the U.S.
M&A and Corporate Transactions
During corporate transactions, Scott conducts immigration compliance due diligence. Scott and his team have developed auditing tools that help buyers more effectively assess and address immigration compliance risks both pre- and post-closing. Scott also advises on the impact and employer responsibilities and consequences involved with reductions-in-force and company spin-offs.
National Security-Related Compliance
Scott advises employers on a variety of federal agency rules involving national security and employee identity issues. This includes advising contractors on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security guidelines and representing employers who are subject to TSA investigations and potential sanctions. Scott also advises companies that are subject to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) overseen by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of DHS. To enhance his ability to advise clients regarding CFATS and federal chemical facility security requirements, Scott holds a Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) Authorized User Certificate.
In his spare time, Scott enjoys writing. His first work, a one act play, Regulation 18B: No Free Man, was performed in 2015 and 2016 in England and Wales, including at Windsor Guildhall and in the historic Hall at Gray’s Inn in London.
Services & Industries
Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) Authorized User Certificate
University of Minnesota Law School
J.D. cum laude (1988)
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Insights & Events
- Zombie Attack! Return of Social Security "No-Match" Letters Co-author, AILA Insight, 2019
- The New I-9 Form and E-Verify: Best Practices
Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota 2017
- Immigration & Global Mobility in the Trump Era
Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota 2017
- The Precarious State of the Rule of Law in Tumultuous Times
Lecture, University of Reading School of Law, Reading, England, 2016
- Immigration Executive Action: The Impact on U.S. Companies and Their Employees
Co-presenter, Faegre Baker Daniels Webinar, 2014
- Employment Law Series: Why Companies Should Prepare Now for E-Verify
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2014
- I-9 & Immigration Compliance
Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2014
- Global Mobility: The Realities, Strategies & Opportunities for Managing (and Moving) Talent Across Borders
Food & Agriculture National Conference, Faegre Baker Daneils, Minneapolis, 2014
- The I-9 & Immigration Primer: 10 Things All Employers Should Know
20th Annual Indiana Chamber Employment Law Seminar, Indianapolis, 2014
- Current Issues in Employment Verification: What Employers Need to Know to Be in Compliance and to Avoid Costly Errors
Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2013
- Best Lawyers® — Immigration Law, 2007-23 (Lawyer of the Year - 2013, 2017)
- Lawdragon — Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyer, 2020- 21
- Human Resources Executive magazine and Lawdragon.com — Nation's Top 20 Immigration Lawyers, 2011-19; Nation's Top 100 Corporate Labor & Employment Lawyers, 2010-12
- Minnesota Super Lawyers — Immigration, 2003-04; 2006-07; 2011-14