This past Tuesday, Congress passed a three year extension to the E-Verify system (i.e. the system that lets employers check whether newly hired workers are in the country legally). In addition to extending the E-Verify program, Congress also voted to approve $137 million for the program over the three years as part of a $43 billion spending bill for the Homeland Security Department. The bill is now set to head to the White House where it is expected that President Obama will sign it into law soon. Many lawmakers wish the E-Verify program should be part of a comprehensive immigration reform package. However, given the focus on health care reform, it is unlikely that we will see an overhaul to the nation’s immigration system until next year.
Homeland Security are reporting that the E-Verify program is used by more than 126,000 employers nationawide, with 1,000 business signing up for the system each week. Federal subcontractors are now required to use the system. DHS is claiming the system is 94% accurate. Currently, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah have passed legislation mandating some or all employers use the E-Verify system. For more information, contact your HLG attorney.