We’ve just heard from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that as of the end of 2013, half a million employers are now using E-Verify, at 1.5 million worksites.
As you know, E-Verify is the USCIS web-based service that employers use to confirm their new hires are authorized to work in the US. Right now, except for federal contractors/subcontractors in certain situations, the US government does not mandate the use of E-Verify. Federal legislation has been proposed to change this, but as of today regulation of E-Verify is up to the states. It is up to each state government to decide how it wants to influence or regulate the use of E-Verify for employers in the state.
If you work for a large, multi-state employer, you probably know how difficult it can be to keep abreast of the current and proposed laws that might affect you in each state where you have offices. (This E-Verify Laws Map might be helpful to you).
About 30% of states mandate that some private employers use E-Verify, typically those working state contracts, or those with more than a certain number of employees. Only four states today require all employers to process new hires through E-Verify (Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina). Three others require all employers over a certain size to use E-Verify (those who employ above 10 in Georgia, 15 in Utah, and 25 in North Carolina). Given this, at least some of the 500,000 employers who use E-Verify are doing so voluntarily.
An increasing number of employers who use Tracker’s I-9 & E-Verify solution voluntarily E-Verify all new hires, even at stores/restaurants/offices located in states with no mandate. These customers are taking the sound position that it will pay to be ahead of the curve on compliance, especially since there seems to be a broad base of support for a nationwide E-Verify mandate. The Tracker customers who’ve had to go through audits with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were richly rewarded for their commitment to compliance when they passed the ICE inspection with ease.
Speaking of audits, we recently supported a customer through a state audit of their E-Verify records. While we’ve supported a good number of customers through ICE I-9 audits, this was the first time we’ve been involved in a state audit of E-Verify records. We will keep you posted if we start seeing a trend.
If your organization is not yet using E-Verify, you may find this paper helpful when you are ready to get started: How to Prepare Your Company to Use E-Verify.
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.