The US District Court for the Central District of Illinois has struck down an Illinois law passed in 2007 which sought to prohibit employers in the state from enrolling in the E-Verify program. The law had been in limbo since 2008, pending this lawsuit which was filed by the Department of Homeland Security.
In ruling for the DHS, the court found that the E-Verify section of the Illinois law was invalid under the Supremacy Clause (i.e., it conflicted with federal immigration law). In particular, the court noted that “Illinois cannot dictate to Congress the standards that federal programs must meet. This clearly frustrates the Congressional purpose of making the Federal Program available to all employers. The Illinois Act is invalid under the Supremacy Clause.”
As a result, the E-Verify section of the Illinois has been declared invalid, and the State of Illinois is permanently enjoined from enforcing it.
The entire decision is available here .
The U.S. Senate has approved a $410 billion bill to fund government programs, including E-Verify, through September 30, 2009. The bill now moves to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.
The USCIS announced today that it added passport information into the E-Verify system last month, which has allegedly reduced the number of erroneous tentative nonconfirmations (TNC) for foreign-born US citizens. This new data enables the USCIS to check State Department records prior to issuing a TNC for instances when the system is unable to immediately confirm a citizen’s work eligibility. Prior to this enhancement, the system would have issued a TNC, prompting a potentially “authorized” worker to resolve the mismatch issue.
The USCIS also announced the latest facts and figures concerning E-Verify participation which are summarized below. The entire announcement is available here on the USCIS web site .
Current E-Verify enrollment: more than 113,000 employers
Enrollment rate: an average of 1,000 employers sign up per week
Usage: More than three million queries have been run through the system since Oct. 1, 2008
TNC rate: More than 96.1 percent of employees are automatically verified as employment authorized