In a 5-to-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can punish employers who violate mandatory E-Verify laws by upholding a 2007 Arizona law that requires employers to enroll in the voluntary federal E-Verify program which checks the legal status of workers by comparing information on their Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9s against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases, according to a report on the National Journal website. Continue reading
The State Senates of Louisiana and Pennsylvania have overwhelmingly passed legislation – Louisiana Senate Bill 66 and Pennsylvania Senate Bill 637 – that would require state contractors to use the government’s E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system to verify that the workers they hire are legally eligible to work in the United States. Both bills now head to the Houses in their respective states for consideration. Continue reading
Amended with a provision that allows businesses to use a driver’s license as proof the employee is legally eligible to work in the United States, the ‘Tennessee Lawful Employment Act’ (SB 1669 – HB 1378) – a bill that would make employers check new hires using the government’s E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system – passed easily in the House and the bill will be taken up by the Senate at any time, the WPLN Nashville (TN) Public Radio website reported. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.