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What Is E-Verify? | Immigration Lawyer Mario Godoy | Godoy Law Office

What Is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an online tool that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.  The free online U.S. government system compares information entered by an employer from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. E-Verify was created as a pilot program for the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

Is E-Verify Mandatory?

E-Verify is voluntary and the National Immigration Forum reports that the overwhelming majority of the nation’s 18 million employers do not participate in the E-Verify program:

By law, E-Verify is mandatory for the federal government, as well as federal contractors and subcontractors. In addition, 24 states have passed laws to require employers utilize E-Verify to varying degrees. Seven states have E-Verify laws that require all or most employers to use E-Verify including Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. 

According to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts, E-Verify has a fatal flaw: It does not detect when a job applicant is using somebody else’s identity:

“It would be hard to design a more ineffective system than E-Verify,” said Alex Nowrasteh, a director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington. “The system only checks the documents that you give it. It doesn’t check the worker. That’s the fatal flaw.” 

The E-Verify system could be improved by requiring all U.S. citizens and legal residents in the United States to be issued a national identity card, which would be costly and face opposition from privacy and civil liberties advocates.

E-Verify is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the  Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and is mandatory for all federal employers and contractors.

The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your work visa and other immigration cases. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-3639.   

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