E-Verify: Improvements Make Mandatory Use a No-Brainer
FAIR Take | March 2023
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) quietly unveiled updates to the E-Verify program to improve the electronic employment verification process required by employers. The E-Verify system is a free, reliable, and proven program that helps employers ensure they are hiring a legal workforce. It does so by allowing employers to compare employees’ information submitted on their I-9 Forms with records at the DHS and the Social Security Administration. In essence, it acts as a virtual wall.
According to USCIS, the new and improved E-Verify system, called E-Verify NextGen, is an “upcoming evolution which aims to streamline the verification process for both employees and employees.”
Over the years, USCIS has continued to make updates to the system to give greater ownership and control to employers. This time, the agency is streamlining the Form I-9 process to reduce errors and improve efficiencies. In particular, it is creating an employer-facing portal which allows for direct input by an employee, and then creates a downloadable Form I-9.
In addition to releasing a video of E-Verify NextGen to explain the new features, USCIS has provided the public with the following chart to better explain the benefits to employees and employers.
Today, there are more than one million users of E-Verify, and on average, more than 1,500 new employers sign up weekly. At the same time, there are 12 million or more illegal aliens in the country, many working unlawfully at the expense of American workers. More than 5.5 million people have illegally entered the country since President Biden took office.
Employment is one of the largest drivers of illegal immigration, and the Biden Administration’s policies to provide work authorization to those that have entered the U.S. has helped fuel today’s border crisis. Additionally, too many Americans have become victims of identity fraud due to illegal immigration and the lack of enforcement.
FAIR supports legislation that mandates that all employers use E-Verify when recruiting and hiring new employees. Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to mandate use of the program, repealing the paper-based I-9 system. Other bills also include increased penalties for noncompliance as well as new procedures for the government to suspend social security numbers to protect victims of identity fraud.
Please go to FAIR’s website to learn more about H.R. 319, the Legal Workforce Act or S. 156, the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act.