Get to Know the Federal E-Verify Program—It’s Coming to a State Near You

Federal E-Verify Program

Immigration enforcement program uses I-9 to validate employee eligibility

If employee e-verify procedures aren’t already a reality for you, they likely will be very soon. The federal E-Verify program is already the law of the land for employers in Arizona and Mississippi, and the Trump administration has made immigration enforcement (including worksite enforcement) a keystone of its agenda. E-Verify use is also mandatory for state agencies in Idaho, Minnesota, and North Carolina. Colorado, Utah, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Rhode Island require it for public contractors. Are you ready?

Employers not already using E-Verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S. must get to know the system—and quick, says immigration lawyer Patricia A. Bollman, who adds that the web-based system got a facelift this spring. 

What: Program Confirms New Hires’ Eligibility

E-Verify is a joint initiative of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Aimed at immigration enforcement, it is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.

How it works: The system “electronically matches information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to” DHS and SSA, according to the program’s web page.

Although the program is not (yet) mandatory, it is available in all 50 states as well as all of the nation’s districts and territories. And, the site states, E-Verify “is currently the best means available to electronically confirm employment eligibility.”

How: Enroll, Select Sites, Enter Data

Want to give the program a try? Here’s how to get started:

  • To enroll, visit http://www.dhs.gov/E-Verify and click on “Getting Started”
  • If your business has multiple locations, choose which locations to include in the program
  • Consider naming a “corporate administrator” to run the program
  • Enter an employee’s I-9 details

Note: When you’re in, you’re in. Once employers are signed up, all newly hired employees must be verified—there is no selective verification.

But: Employers can terminate program participation with a 30-day written notice.  

While momentum suggests that E-Verify’s prevalence will spread, there has been discussion of tempering the program for political reasons and in concert with changes to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. E-Verify itself also is regularly amended to provide aid provisions for immigrants from war-torn nations such as Somalia and Yemen.

The Trump administration’s goal is to have E-Verify mandatory in all 50 states within three years. With that in mind, says Bollman, now is the time get familiar with the program.

(This post first appeared in an AudioSolutionz blog)

By Jeff S on 10th October 2018

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