UBP blog


E-Verify Deadline Postponed to June 30

Filed under: HR compliance — ubpblogger @ 9:18 am

The US Homeland Security Department (DHS) has, for the third time, pushed back the deadline for implementing the final rule for employers to use the E-Verify employment verification system. The rule was originally scheduled to go into effect January 15, 2009, was initially pushed back to February 20, then to May 21 and now will go into effect six weeks later on June 30.

What is the E-Verify system:

The E-Verify program is jointly run by the DHS and Social Security Administration. It enables employers to quickly and easily verify the work authorization of their new hires. Using the newly-revised I9 form, employers submit Social Security numbers for new hires to the E-Verify system. If the system indicates that there is a match, the employee is deemed eligible to work, if not, procedures are set into place for further assessments.

Under the new DHS rule, if an employer fails to follow a set of “safe harbor” procedures, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can use an employer’s receipt of a “no match” letter alone as evidence that he or she had “constructive knowledge” that the employee in question is not authorized to work in the United States.

The issue with E-Verify:

The E-Verify system is considered controversial because of its high error rates. Business and immigrant advocacy groups argue that system errors could potentially result in millions of workers being wrongly identified as not authorized to work in the United States. Also, they state that requiring the use of E-Verify before hiring would impose a cost burden on employers and open them up to possible lawsuits.

On the other end of the spectrum on this issue, as reported by USA Today in March 2009, are studies by two conservative think tanks estimating that individuals not authorized to work in the United States could take approximately “15% of the 2 million jobs that new taxpayer-financed projects are predicted to create” if E-Verify is not implemented.

As you can see, the issue surrounding E-Verify is a complicated one. Risk having millions of workers wrongfully classified as ineligible to work in the United States or risk having hundreds of thousands of jobs go to illegal immigrant workers when unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been in decades.

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