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States Start Mandating Use of E-Verify

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on March 13, 2015

The use of E-Verify – a computer system provided to employers by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees – has exploded in recent years. According to USCIS, as of January 3, 2015, more than 7.4 million cases are expected to run in fiscal year 2015, and more than 500,000 employers are participating in the program.

Although E-Verify is voluntary in most states, a significant number of states – including Indiana – have passed legislation mandating the use of E-Verify for certain jobs. For instance, as of July 2011, state agencies, political subdivisions, and companies entering into or renewing public contracts in Indiana must use E-Verify to confirm the work authorization of all new hires. E-Verify is not mandated for private employers in Indiana, but those who don’t use E-Verify may fail to qualify for certain tax credits on state income taxes.

Illinois currently doesn’t mandate use of E-Verify but Illinois employers are required to sign a sworn attestation either upon initial enrollment in E-Verify, affirming that the employer has received the requisite E-Verify training materials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and that all employees with access to the company’s E-Verify account have completed mandatory online E-Verify tutorials. Employers must also affirm that it has posted the required legal notices regarding its enrollment in E-Verify and certain non-discrimination procedures. Illinois employers using E-Verify must also retain the signed original attestation and proof of its employees’ E-Verify training.

If an employer uses E-Verify as part of its employment procedures, the E-Verify will check that information against the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security databases, and provide the employer with one of the following results within seconds:(a) Employment Authorized (employee is authorized to work); (b) Verification in Process (DHS will respond within 24 hours); (c) Tentative Non-Confirmation (information provided by DHS does not correspond with SSA information); (d)Final Non-Confirmation (employee is not work authorized).

Mandatory use of E-Verify could eventually be part of immigration reform, however. Senate Bill No. 744 – also known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act – which passed the Senate in 2013, but stalled in the House of Representatives, proposed expanding, improving, and mandating E-Verify for all employers over a period of five years. Since comprehensive immigration reform legislation has not succeeded, whether E-Verify will be mandatory in all states remains to be seen.

The Chicago business immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group focus on helping employers and nonresident employees with all of their immigration issues. As such we provide advice and guidance to employers on how to use the E-Verify system and we continue to monitor any developments regarding the proposed legislative changes impacting E-Verify.

If you are an employer in need of immigration assistance, do not hesitate to contact us at (847)564-0712 to speak with an employment immigration lawyer in Chicago.