Tag Archives: employment eligibility

Georgia Governor Signs Immigration Enforcement Law Requiring Use of E-Verify for Employment Eligibility Verification

Joining the growing list of states mandating the use of the government’s E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system for private companies, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed into law a stringent immigration bill – ‘HB 87 – The ‘Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011’ – that requires private employers in the state with more than 10 employees to check the immigration status of new hires using E-Verify, according to a press release from the Governor’s office. Continue reading

US Citizenship and Immigration Services Launches I-9 Central Online Resource Center for Form I-9 Guidance

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched “I-9 Central”http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central – a free online resource center dedicated to the most frequently accessed form on the USCIS.gov website: the Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification. I-9 Central will give both employers and employees access to resources, tips, and guidance on how to properly complete the Form I-9 and better understand the Form I-9 process, the USCIS announced in a press release. Continue reading

USCIS Issues Final Rule on Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Process to be Effective May 16

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a final rule that adopts the interim rule in effect since April 3, 2009 that improved the integrity of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process by changing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations governing the acceptable documents for completing the Form I-9 process. The final rule will be effective on May 16, 2011. Continue reading

USCIS to Launch E-Verify Self-Check Service that Allows Individuals to Confirm Employment Eligibility in United States

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will launch a free and voluntary E-Verify Self-Check Service on March 21, 2011 in selected states that allows individuals to check their employment eligibility in the U.S. According to the USCIS E-Verify Self Check Interactive Preview, the E-Verify Self-Check service will be available to individuals currently maintaining residency in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and Virginia, and it is expected that USCIS will expand the E-Verify Self-Check to other states and the service should eventually be available nationwide. Continue reading

Bill Introduced in Congress Would Make Use of E-Verify Permanent and Mandatory for U.S. Employers

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make the use of E-Verify – a free, web-based, government run electronic employment eligibility verification system – “permanent and mandatory” for all employers in the United States and also provide for penalties for businesses employing illegal workers not authorized to be employed in the United States. Continue reading

ICE to Crack Down on 1000 Businesses Suspected of Hiring Illegal Workers

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is cracking down on employers suspected of hiring illegal workers by requiring approximately 1,000 businesses to allow their employment records to be investigated, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. Continue reading

Supporters Say E-Verify Helps Employers Check Immigration Status of Newly Hired Employees

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A member of the U.S. House of Representatives responding to an editorial in the Washington Post wrote that the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system helps employers check the immigration status of workers and maintain a legal workforce, and also that E-Verify can only be used on new hires and not for screening job applicants.

The January 22 Washington Post editorial, ‘The limits of immigration enforcement,’ focused on one of the world’s largest food processing firms that recently received a federal seal of approval for its hiring practices from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after officials from the agency checked employment records for just about every one of the more than 100,000 workers employed by the company. Although roughly a quarter of a million companies have enrolled in E-Verify – which is described as “a federal program that screens potential new hires for employment eligibility” in the 1/22 editorial – most companies seem reluctant to have existing workforces checked since the U.S. labor force contains an estimated 6 to 7 million undocumented immigrants.

The following response appeared in the Washington Post on January 27, in part to support use of E-Verify but also to remind employers that E-Verify can only be used after a job applicant is hired and should not be used as a method of background screening:

Helping employers check workers’ immigration status

Contrary to the Jan. 22 editorial “The limits of immigration enforcement,” the E-Verify federal program is not used on potential hires, as the editorial stated. It can be used only for newly hired employees. In order to prevent discrimination, the Web-based E-Verify program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, prohibits employers from using E-Verify to screen potential hires. Rather, E-Verify is a tool to confirm that the information given on an I-9 form, which is required for every new employee, is correct.

As a former small-business owner in the restaurant industry, I found it frustrating that employers were expected to hire legal workers but were given no tools to do so. Since employers cannot be expected to be document experts, when I became a member of Congress I created E-Verify as a way to provide employers a simple, free and easy way to check the information provided on the I-9. Fifteen years later, E-Verify has exceeded expectations through the use of biometric data for non-citizens, is 99.6 percent accurate and continues to improve, expand and evolve.

Ken Calvert, Washington

The writer, a California Republican, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Recently, a story in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ‘Crackdown on Illegal Workers Grow’ told how ICE had announced that it was cracking down on larger companies that may employ undocumented workers. ICE conducted audits of more than 2,740 companies in the fiscal year 2010, nearly twice as many as the previous fiscal year, and levied a record $7 million in civil fines on businesses employing illegal workers, according to the WSJ.

Because of this, U.S. businesses are getting their employment records, particularly the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“I-9 form”), in order. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and maintain a legal workforce.

For more information on E-Verify Service from Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/27/AR2011012706723.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/21/AR2011012106497.html

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1101/110120washingtondc.htm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703951704576092381196958362.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

GAO Report Notes Improvements in Accuracy of E-Verify Employment Eligibility Verification System

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

According to a new report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau has taken steps to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system used to check if workers are legally eligible to work in the country.

The report – GAO-11-146 Employment Verification (December 2010) – found that USCIS had boosted the E-Verify system’s accuracy by expanding the number of databases consulted to determine the legal status of a new hire and by establishing new quality control procedures that included making employers double-check information for employees found unauthorized to work in the U.S. and allowing E-Verify to automatically correct clerical errors.

More improvements to the E-Verify system mean that more eligible workers are being approved immediately. E-Verify immediately confirmed nearly 97.5 percent of 8.2 million new hires entered into the system during fiscal year 2009, while another 0.3 percent successfully contested their “tentative nonconfirmation” status. In addition, GAO found that the USCIS had taken more precautions to protect the personal information of employees.

Despite these improvements, GAO cautioned that “E-Verify remains vulnerable to identity theft and employer fraud.” Nevertheless, E-Verify – a free, web-based system that compares employee information on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases – is currently being used by at least 243,000 employers that ran more than 16 million queries in fiscal 2010, according to USCIS.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading background check provider to employers accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information on ESR’s E-Verify Service, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11146.pdf
http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110119_5352.php?oref=topnews

Florida Governor Signs Executive Order Requiring State Agencies to Use E-Verify

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

Shortly after being sworn-in, new Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order No. 11-02 (Verification of Employment Status) that requires state agencies to use the E-verify system to verify legal immigration status of workers and check whether all current and prospective agency employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.

E-Verify is a free, web-based system operated by the U.S. government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of employees by comparing data on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.

As explained in the following excerpt from the executive order signed by the Governor, Executive Order No. 11-02 requires state agencies to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of state employees and contractors:

  • All agencies under the direction of the Governor to verify the employment eligibility of all current and prospective agency employees through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system;
  • All agencies under the direction of the Governor to include, as a condition of all state contracts, an express requirement that contractors utilize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of: a.) all persons employed during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within Florida; and b.) All persons (including subcontractors) assigned by the contractor to perform work pursuant to the contract with the state agency.
  • Agencies not under the direction of the Governor are encouraged to verify the employment eligibility of their current and prospective employees utilizing the E-Verify system, and to require contractors to utilize the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of their employees and subcontractors.

However, as a sign that E-Verify is still not without controversy, Rhode Island’s new Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order (also No. 11-02) ‘Terminating Illegal Immigration Control Order’ on his first day in office to rescind a previous order requiring the state and businesses to check the immigration backgrounds of workers using the electronic program E-Verify.

Florida employers that are contractors with state agencies should expect that Florida state agencies will soon take steps to:

  • Amend existing contracts to include the new E-Verify requirement, and
  • Ensure that the E-Verify requirement is part of future contracts.

Florida employers should investigate enrolling in E-Verify to ensure all employees with responsibility for Form I-9 maintenance and E-Verify administration undergo thorough training in Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance. Florida employers may also choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent help them maintain Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks accredited by National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent and can help employers virtually eliminate Form I-9 errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php, read ESR News Blog posts tagged ‘E-verify’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/, and see the E-Verify State Legislation Map is available on the ESR website at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be ‘Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more about ESR’s Leadership, Resources, and Solutions, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:

http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/scott.eo_.two_.pdf 

http://media2.wpri.com/_local/pdf_files/chafee-e-verify-executive-order.pdf

ESR Background Screening Trend 9 for 2011: E-Verify and I-9 Audits Help Government Find Employers with Illegal Workers

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011

Trend No. 9: E-Verify and I-9 Audits Help Government Find Employers with Illegal Workers

An October 2010 press release from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration, which included issuing more financial sanctions on employers who hired unauthorized workers than during the entire previous Bush administration. Since January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the principal investigative arm of DHS – has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring workers not legally eligible to work in the U.S., debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions, according to the DHS.

A summary of fines and penalties from ICE reveals that this surge in enforcement of a legal U.S. workforce included a 500 percent increase in penalties from worksite enforcement actions (over $5 million), a nearly two-fold increase in I-9 audits (2,200), a record-breaking 180 criminal prosecutions of employers, and the debarring of more than 97 businesses, compared to 30 last fiscal year, with average fines exceeding $110,000.

Due in large part to increased scrutiny on employers from ICE through I-9 audits – where employee information on Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (“I-9 forms”) is checked for accuracy by Government agents –  penalties from worksite enforcement inspections have increased recently. The following statistics from ICE compares Fiscal Year 2010 (October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010) with Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009):

  • ICE penalties from worksite enforcement inspections increased to $5,300,000 in FY 2010, up from $1,033,291 in FY 2009.
  • ICE criminally charged a record-breaking 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors in FY 2010, up from 135 in FY 2008 and 114 in FY 2009.
  • ICE conducted more than 2,200 I-9 audits in FY 2010, up from more than 1,400 in FY 2009.
  • ICE debarred 97 business and 49 individuals in FY 2010, up from 30 and 53, respectively, in FY 2009.

These record breaking statistics show that ICE is focusing more on targeting the employers that hire illegal workers through the use of I-9 audits and investigations of their hiring practices. Now more than ever, U.S. employers must regularly review their I-9 compliance practices.

One of the trends that emerged in 2010 and should continue in 2011 is that employers will take steps to ensure they hire a legal workforce by using E-Verify, a free, web-based electronic employment eligibility verification system operated by the U.S. government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees by comparing data from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. E-Verify is currently being used by more than 230,000 employers at more than 800,000 worksites, according to recent figures from DHS.

Currently, federal contractors and subcontractors in all states must use E-Verify. Many U.S. states have additional state or local E-Verify mandates for either all employers, state agencies, city employees, or have E-Verify legislation pending. A listing of E-Verify requirements can be found on the recently updated (November 22, 2010) online E-Verify State Legislation Map from Tracker Corp available at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance with the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. To learn more about E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is releasing the ESR Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 throughout December. This is the Ninth of the Top Ten Trends ESR will be tracking in 2011. To see an updated list of ESR’s ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.  

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was also the third background screening company to be ‘Safe Harbor’ certified. For more information, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.