In looking through E-Verify news prior to the launching of our blog, we came across some interesting statistics from a U.S. Government official on the use of the program. They tend to confirm that E-Verify is likely to have a growing and significant impact on U.S. employers.
According to Jonathan Scharfen, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) acting director, the number of registered E-Verify employers is growing on average over 1,000 per week. Scharfen informed Congress in June 2008 that over 69,000 employers, representing over 269,000 worksites, were signed up to use E-Verify. USCIS administers the program.
E-Verify was first made available on a voluntary basis in 1997 to employers in the five states with the largest immigrant populations: California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. Originally set to expire in 2001, E-Verify has been extended twice, and is due for reauthorization by Congress by November 2008. Since 2004, it has been available to employers in all 50 states and in the U.S. territories where U.S. immigration laws apply.
Scharfen reported to Congress that since 2006, the number of employers registered has doubled in size each year. He also noted in his testimony a substantial increase in the number of states with legislation or Executive Orders that require E-Verify use for some or all employers under their jurisdiction. Arizona and Mississippi have laws requiring all employers in the state to use E-Verify; and Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Utah require some employers to use E-Verify. A directive issued last year from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) required all Federal government agencies to sign up to use E-Verify by October 1, 2007. Last August, the Administration pledged to commence a rulemaking process to require all Federal contractors and vendors to use E-Verify and OMB recently concluded its review on this proposed rule. On June 6, the President signed Executive Order 12989 directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate an electronic employment eligibility verification system for Federal contractors to use. Scharfen reported that the day before his testimony the Secretary of Homeland Security had already designated E-Verify as the system Federal contractors shall use.
Additionally, in the past few months a number of DHS regulations were published that require employers to register with E-Verify before obtaining certain benefits. These include (1) a regulation enabling certain F-1 students in Optional Practical Training to apply for a 17-month extension of their employment authorization if they are employed by an E-Verify registered employer and (2) the proposed rule reforming the H-2A agricultural worker program, would allow H-2A workers who are changing employers to begin work with the new employer before the change is approved only if the new employer participates in E-Verify. The acting director of USCIS predicted that participation and usage of E-Verify will grow significantly over the next few years.
Government madates to promote the use of E-Verify are likely to have a significant impact on employers who may be planning to switch from paper I-9 forms to electronic management of employment eligibility verification. Electronic Form I-9 management system from Tracker I-9™ is now integrated with E-Verify and allows employers to instantly and securely submit E-Verify information to government databases over the Internet. Tracker I-9 is also offering employers a free E-Verify and Form I-9 HR Toolkit, which can be requested by going to the Tracker I-9™ website.
Posted by Tracker I-9™ team.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues.