What is the E-Verify System?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created an on-line employment eligibility verification system, “E-Verify,” to assistance employers with confirming the legal status of workers. This includes a website accessible to employers, employees and the general public who wish to obtain electronic information on employment eligibility verification.

Employers who enroll in E-Verify can access the Form I-9 (Employee Eligibility Verification) for the almost 800,000 enrolled employees. The Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration provide the I-9 records from their respective databases. Within 24 hours, the employers will have information confirming whether the worker is work-authorized. There is no fee to use the system. Current statistics show approximately one-third of employers currently use E-Verify to verify worker eligibility with 1,500 additional employers registering to use the system each week.

Supporters of mandatory E-Verify argue that it may deter immigrants from entering the United States unlawfully and provides an incentive for undocumented immigrants to return to their home countries. States with mandatory E-Verify laws have reported that unlawful immigration has decreased by almost 50 percent in one year.

Immigration Legislation and the E-Verify System

A recent plan mandating that all employers use E-Verify to confirm that employees are working in the country have appropriate documentation was rejected by leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. Those who favor stronger immigration policies had hoped that the mandatory use of E-Verify would be a part of any comprehensive immigration bill introduced by Congress. Under the terms of the rejected plan, employers would have two years to verify that all employees were eligible to work in the United States. The plan offered agricultural worker visas for farm workers already working in the country.

Opponents of the required use of E-Verify include many farming lobbying groups and several Congressional members. Critics of the E-Verify plan believe the E-Verify requirement would exacerbate the worker shortage problem and opposed the “touchback” provision, which makes currently undocumented workers eligible for a visa only after leaving the U.S. briefly and returning. The agriculture sector continues to voice their opposition to any mandate requiring that all employers use the E-Verify system based on the burden it places on employers in the farming industry.

Advocates for the mandatory use of E-Verify believe that employers should receive incentives for their participation including legal immunity when using the system.  Other benefits cited by E-Verify supporters include the potential for information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. While the current administration continues to introduce immigration reforms, it remains unclear if or when using the E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of an employee will become a required part of the employment hiring process.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients With Employment Visas

If you or a loved one needs Philadelphia immigration assistance, a multilingual Philadelphia immigration lawyer at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can guide you through the legal process. Our Philadelphia immigration lawyers provide help with deportations, Board of Immigration appeals, visa applications, abuse petitions and asylum issues. Call us today at 215-925-4435 to discuss your matter or contact us online. We offer confidential consultations at our offices in Philadelphia, were we represent clients across Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.