E-Verify implementation delayed yet again

Published 12 June 2009

DHS created E-Verify to allow employers to check on line the eligibility of employees to work in the United States; implementation of the system has been delayed for the fourth time; new deadline: 8 September 2009

For the fourth time this year, the E-Verify implementation has been postponed. The implementation is awaiting an executive order requiring that all 168,000 federal contractors use the E-Verify system to check worker’s eligibility. The new date for the implementation is now set for 8 September 2009. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has filed a lawsuit challenging the requirement, and the case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Washington Examiner’s Althea Blackwell writes that E-Verify provides an automated link to federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. DHS secretary Janet Napolitano said she supports E-Verify. “We’ll be asking the Congress as part of our ongoing efforts in the immigration field to reauthorize E-Verify to put more money into E-Verify as part of our budget, by the way,” she said. “Because I think that if we’re going to crack down on employers, we also on the safe side ought to have mechanisms to make it easier for them to comply with the law.”

The Internet-based system is operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It allows participating employers electronically to verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.  Participating employers can check the work status of new hires online by comparing information from an employee’s I-9 form against SSA and Department of Homeland Security databases.  As of now, Napolitano states there are more than 122,000 employers using the E-Verify system.

E-Verify is currently free to employers and is available in all fifty states. Based on the E-Verify Web site, more than 69,000 employers currently rely on E-Verify to determine that their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. More than four million employment verification queries were ran in fiscal year 2008. The top users of E-Verify include:

  • Food services and drinking places
  • Administrative and support services
  • Professional and technical services
  • Clothing and accessories stores
  • Other information services