E-Verify is an online tool that allows employers to verify the identity and immigration status of individuals who apply for jobs with those employers. The biggest benefit to the E-Verify system for employers is that it is a quick and easy way to comply with the federal law that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring individuals who are undocumented immigrants. Specifically, E-Verify checks information provided by employees against databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The federal government recently updated the E-Verify system to require a photo verification. The purpose of this step is to prevent job applicants from using false or stolen IDs. If the system is unable to verify the employee in any way, the employee then has to correct his or her information with the federal government. However, there are instances in which the system red flags U.S. citizens whose names are incorrectly entered into a government database, which can make getting a job for those individuals difficult, as it may take weeks for these errors to get straightened out. Additionally, at least one study indicates that more often than not, undocumented immigrants who have IDs belonging to others are not flagged by the system.
E-Verify is not mandatory for most U.S. businesses, but is mandatory for any agencies and private businesses working with the U.S. government. Twenty-four states also have passed laws requiring some businesses and state agencies to use E-Verify. This has resulted in a huge increase in the usage of the system; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that employers performed almost 35 million E-Verify checks in 2017 alone.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to helping both individuals and businesses resolve their immigration-related issues. Immigration law is a complex, ever-changing area of the law that necessitates legal advice from experienced immigration lawyers who keep up-to-date with all relevant changes in law and policy. We will work with you to achieve the most positive outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled immigration attorneys today.