USCIS Announces more than 100,000 Employers now Using E-Verify
Verma Law Firm
Strengthening the Employment Eligibility Document Review Process for the
· E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration
(SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the
employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the program.
· 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
· 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 at www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.
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:
o 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);
o 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;
o 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
o Of all queries received, final nonconfirmations (meaning not work-authorized)
are 3.5 percent; down from 5.3 percent.
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. Employers can obtain additional
information about E-Verify by visiting www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.