What is E-Verify?
E-Verify was created in 1997 as one of several ways to address the failure of the 1986 immigration reform law to stop the hiring of undocumented workers because it didn’t provide any method for employers to ensure the status of those whom they are hiring. Through this system, employers enter information collected on the federally required I-9 form, which is then compared against various government records and then returns a result either confirming or rejecting the employee's immigration status as authorized for work.
What are the problems with E-Verify?
Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) notices are given when the DHS and SSA databases don’t match after an employer submits the employee’s data into the E-Verify website. Of the individuals provided with TNC notices, 6.3 percent were legally able to work, which is a 93.7 percent Final Non-confirmation (FNC) accuracy rate, which USCIS states “is the primary indicator of accuracy.” This is significantly high rate of legal workers being denied the right to work for significant periods of time.
The Government Accountability office predicted that if E-Verify is made mandatory for new hires nationwide, about 164,000 citizens per year will receive a TNC for issues related to name changes. An employee who receives a TNC often has to go through a lengthy and laborious process to resolve the problem; many individuals have to submit a Freedom of Information act to find out what is wrong, which often takes over 100 days to compete.
According to USCIS, 5 percent of workers were not properly informed about their TNC by employers. These workers could not appeal the decision without appropriate information, despite being legally able to work. And in 2013, 15 percent of employers who use E-Verify admitted to restricting work assignments to TNCs until their right to work was verified. This indicates that a significant number of individuals will be prevented from finding and keeping lawful employment if E-Verify is expanded.
E-Verify hurts businesses as well. A Bloomberg Government study estimates that E-Verify will cost small businesses $2.6 billion annually. During the government shutdown in 2013, E-Verify went offline. In states where use of E-Verify was mandatory, many businesses were left unable to run properly. If E-Verify goes down for any reason, the ability of businesses to continue running is compromised.
Don’t make it harder for Americans to find work! Continue to allow E-Verify to be implemented on a voluntary basis.