E-Verify Talking Points
March 29, 2012
What is E-Verify?
- Overseen by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), E-Verify is a voluntary online system that allows employers to quickly check the work authorization status of their new hires. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) partner to operate E-Verify. (USCIS, Getting Started, Sept. 30, 2010)
- E-Verify works by allowing employers to electronically compare information taken from the I-9 Form (the paper-based form currently used to verify the work eligibility of all new hires) against 455 million records in SSA’s database and 80 million records in DHS immigration databases. (USCIS, Instant Verification of Work Authorization, Sept. 30, 2010)
How to use E-Verify
- The company and employee must complete the Form I-9 (employment eligibility verification form) within three days from the date of hire. (USCIS, E-Verify Overview) Once completed, the company must enter the information from the Form I-9 into the free online E-Verify program. (USCIS, Companion to Form I-9)
- Once the information is entered and submitted, E-Verify compares it against millions of government records. If the information entered matches, E-Verify returns an “Employment Authorized” result. This confirms the employee is authorized to work in the United States. Then, after recording the employee’s E-verify case verification number, the employer simply closes the case to complete the E-Verify process.(Id.)
- If there’s a mismatch, E-Verify returns a “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC) result. If this happens, the employer needs to print and review a notice with the employee that explains the cause of the mismatch and what it means for the employee. (Id.)
- If the employee contests the mismatch, the employer refers the case to the appropriate agency (either DHS or SSA) and prints a letter that it must give to the employee. The letter contains important instructions and contact information that the employee needs to resolve the mismatch. (Id.)
- The employee is given eight federal government work days from the date the case was referred in E-Verify to resolve the problem. (Id.)
- E-Verify will alert the employer of an update in the employee’s case: If the employee successfully resolves the mismatch, E-Verify will return a result of employment authorized. If the employee doesn’t resolve the mismatch, E-Verify will return a “Final Nonconfirmation” (FNC) result. Only after an employee receives a FNC may an employer terminate an employee based on E-Verify. (Id.)
Why should employers use E-Verify?
- Participation in E-Verify ensures that an employer only hires individuals who are authorized to work in the United States and protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers. (USCIS, Why Should I Consider Participating in E-Verify?)
- E-Verify is free to use.(USCIS, E-Verify)
- E-Verify provides work eligibility results within three to five seconds. (USCIS, Instant Verification of Work Authorization) E-Verify virtually eliminates Social Security mismatch letters. (USCIS, Why Should I Consider Participating in E-Verify?)
- E-Verify improves the accuracy of wage and tax reporting. (Id.)
- E-Verify features a photo matching tool to combat document fraud and ensure the documents that employees present are genuine. (USCIS, Business-Friendly Features)
- Companies that properly use E-Verify get a “rebuttable presumption” that they are in compliance with Form I-9 and employment eligibility laws. (Id.)
- Employers receive customer support and technical and program assistance. (Id.)
How Well Does E-Verify Work?
- 98.3 percent of employees are automatically confirmed as authorized to work either instantly or within 24 hours, requiring no employee or employer action (1.7 percent receive initial system mismatches). (USCIS, Statistics and Reports, Feb. 4, 2011)
- Of the 1.7 percent of employees receiving initial system mismatches (TNC), only 0.3 percent are later confirmed to be work authorized. (Id.) 1.43 percent are not work authorized. (Id.)
- Non-confirmations occur almost exclusively because:
- The employee is not authorized to work in the United States
- The employee has failed to update his or her records with SSA (for example, to reflect changes in name or citizenship status) (Id.)
- The employer made an error when entering information into the E-Verify system. (Id.)
- E-Verify received a score of 82 on the national Customer Satisfaction Index — 13 points higher than the current Federal Government average.
Who Uses E-Verify?
- More than 246,000 employers are currently enrolled in E-Verify, and approximately 1,300 new employers enroll in the program every week.
- The federal government requires federal contractors or subcontractors whose contract with it contains the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause to participate in E-Verify. E-Verify is voluntary for all other businesses.
- States with laws or executive orders requiring the use of E-Verify
- The number of Fiscal Year 2010 E-Verify cases initiated by employers was 15,640,167.
What Have Elected Leaders Said About E-Verify?
- As Governor of Arizona, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano signed a law requiring that all new hires be confirmed through E-Verify. More recently, Napolitano has stated her support for E-Verify and dismissed the program’s critics: “Some of the arguments that are made about how it works or does not work don’t carry much water with me. I’ve already used it for several years. It works.”
- In his Fiscal Year 2012 budget request, President Obama asked for $132 million for E-Verify.