E-Verify Program Update: 100,000 Employers Signed Up

Written by RSN

January 10, 2009
Right Side News Reports
US Dept of Homeland Security reports:
  • Free, safe, secure and simple to use, E-Verify is the best means available for determining employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security Numbers.  The program provides participating employers an automated Internet-based resource to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.   Participating employers run authorization checks on all newly hired employees, including U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, against SSA and DHS databases (about 449 million, and 60 million records respectively).  Through this process, E-Verify assists employers in maintaining a legal workforce and protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers.
  • USCIS began testing a photo screening tool enhancement to E-Verify and formally launched it on Sept. 17, 2007.   The tool allows a participating employer to check the photos on Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) or Permanent Resident Cards (green cards) against images stored in USCIS databases.  The goal of the photo tool is to detect and deter identify fraud by helping employers determine whether the document presented is the same document issued by USCIS (e.g., that it is not a forgery involving photo-substitution).
  • More than 100,000 employers are currently using the E-Verify program to verify that their new hires are authorized to work in the United States.   For FY2009 to date, more than 2 million employment verification queries have been run.  During FY2008, approximately 6.6 million employment verification queries were run (as compared to a total of 3.27 million in all of FY2007).   The Department of Homeland Security's FY2009 appropriation legislation, signed into law on Sept. 30, 2008, provided $100 million to continue, expand and improve E-Verify in FY2009.
  • Employers can register for E-Verify on-line, (see the "Related Links" section on the upper-right hand side of this page for a link.)    The site provides instructions for completing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) needed to officially register for the program.  Once registered, employers use E-Verify by entering information captured on the Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9).
  • A recent study conducted by Westat, a social science research firm which monitors the effect of various changes made to the E-Verify program, found that between April and June 2008:
  • - Approximately 96.1 percent of all cases queried through E-Verify were instantly found to be employment authorized (this is a substantial improvement from 94.2 percent);

    - About 99.6 percent of all work-authorized employees verified through E-Verify are verified without receiving a tentative nonconfirmation or having to take any type of corrective action;

    - Erroneous tentative nonconfirmations (those that were work-authorized but who received a nonconfirmation) have improved from 0.5% to 0.4%. Ultimately, these mismatches are successfully resolved; and

    - Of all queries received, final nonconfirmations (meaning not work-authorized) are 3.5 percent; down from 5.3 percent.

    The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) first authorized the program.  E-Verify evolved from the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program, which originally developed in 1997 and was made available to employers as a Web-based program in 2004.  The Basic Pilot Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 extended E-Verify until November 2008.

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    100,000 Employers Use E-Verify Program

    January 8, 2008 - WASHINGTON-U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that more than 100,000 employers have signed up to participate in E-Verify, a free, easy to use online system that equips participating employers with the tools to quickly and effectively verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees.

    The Bratton Corp., a construction products supplier from Kansas City, Mo., employing about 200 people in Kansas City and Pasadena, Calif., is the 100,000th employer to participate in E-Verify. 

    "We congratulate The Bratton Corporation for joining the thousands of employers who participate in E-Verify, and whose numbers are growing by a thousand each week," said USCIS Acting Deputy Director Mike Aytes.  "They all have taken a significant step toward maintaining the integrity of the American workforce." 

    Employers have run more than two million queries through the system since October 2008, and employers have been able to automatically verify more than 18 million workers' eligibility since 1997. USCIS has launched major enhancements since E-Verify's inception to improve the accuracy of the system's automatic confirmation processes, including verifying naturalized citizens directly with USCIS records.

    Currently, approximately 96.1 percent of qualified employees are cleared automatically by E-Verify, and  99.6 percent of all work-authorized employees are verified without receiving a tentative nonconfirmation or having to take any type of corrective action.

    USCIS plans to make additional enhancements in 2009 to E-Verify and the employment authorization process, including amending the list of acceptable identity documents workers may present to employers to verify employment eligibility and adding passport data and photos to the system to reduce identity theft.  Beginning this month, the federal government will require that certain federal contracts contain a clause requiring the contractor and certain subcontractors to use E-Verify.

    While participation in E-Verify is voluntary, 15 states now require certain employers to participate and comply in some manner with a federal work authorization verification program. 

    E-Verify evolved from the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program and was offered on a voluntary basis in 1997 to employers in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas, the five states with the largest immigrant populations. E-Verify was offered to all employers as a free web-based program in 2004.  USCIS administers the program in partnership with the Social Security Administration.

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