E-Verify is a web-based system through which employers electronically confirm the employment eligibility of their employees.
In the process, employers create cases based on information taken from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The system then electronically compares that information to records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The employer usually receives a response within a few seconds either confirming the employee’s employment eligibility or indicating that the employee needs to take further action to complete the case.
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The program is administered by SSA and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS facilitates compliance with U.S. immigration law by providing program support, user support, training and outreach, and developing innovative technological solutions in employment eligibility verification.
The program was originally established in 1996 as the Basic Pilot Program to prevent undocumented workers and other people who have violated immigration laws from obtaining employment illegally in the United States. In August 2007, DHS started by requiring all federal contractors and vendors to use E-Verify. The Internet-based program is free and maintained by the U.S. government. Use of the program at the state level varies; some states have mandated use of E-Verify or similar programs, while others have discouraged the program.
E-Verify compares information from an employee’s Employment Eligibility Form I-9 to data from U.S. government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there is a mismatch, the program alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem; they must contact the appropriate agency to resolve the mismatch within eight federal government work days from the referral date. The program is operated by the DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration. According to the DHS website, more than 600,000 employers used the program as of 2016.
Research shows that E-Verify harms the labor market outcomes of illegal immigrants and improves the labor market outcomes of Mexican legal immigrants and U.S.-born Hispanics, but has no impact on labor market outcomes for non-Hispanic white Americans. A 2016 study suggests that the program reduces the number of illegal immigrants in states that have mandated its use for all employers, and further notes that the program may deter illegal immigration to the US in general.
Visit the E-Verify data page for in-depth information on the program, including performance and usage statistics, reports, system enhancements, and the participating employer search tool.
Below are some links discussing and containing information on the program in which our law firm and some of our corporate clients participate.
E-Verify – General Resources
- E-Verify Page (USCIS)
- Employee Rights and Responsabilities (USCIS)
- How to Correct Your Immigration Records after Resolving a Tentative Nonconfirmation
- myE-Verify (USCIS)
- MyE-Verify – A Good Tool For Employers To Avoid I-9 Fines
- Participating Employers (USCIS)
- Employee Rights Toolkit
- Federal Contractor Q and A’s
- Quick Reference Guide for Employers (June 2018)
- User Manual for Employers (Updated June 2013)
- User Manual for Federal Contractors (Updated June 2013)
- Employer DOs and DON’Ts (Justice Department) (Revised 3-21-11)
- How Do I Use E-Verify? (USCIS) (August 2008)
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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