E-Verify’s Bringing Change, Offer US Immigrants Hope
E-Verify is a free online program that allows employers to check their employees’ work authorizations.
And very soon, all companies may be required to use it.
The system is operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), but how does it work?
It’s very simple. An employer just enters the E-Verify system online, and with the information the employee has provided on his or her Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the employer compares the information found in the online records. If the information proves to be correct, then it means that the employee is authorized to work.
E-Verify is used by many companies but it is not mandatory for all employers. It is only mandatory for certain Federal agencies, but this could change.
If Congress passes the Senate’s proposed immigration reform bill, all U.S. employers in all industries would be required to check their employee’s work authorizations using E-Verify within three days of hiring.
With E-Verify mandatory, it would be very difficult for undocumented immigrants with no work authorizations to work illegally.
A mandatory E-Verify has support from both Democrats and Republicans and President Obama.
The senate bill, in addition to requiring E-Verify, would also grant legal status to eligible undocumented immigrants. This means they would be able to have work authorizations.
Undocumented immigrants would gain legal status through a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). These are the general requirements for RPI status:
- Must be inside the U.S. when submitting the application
- Must have been inside the U.S. since before Dec. 31, 2011
- Must have no felony convictions, no three or more misdemeanors, no offenses under current law except purely political offenses, and no engagement in terrorist activity
- Must pay taxes and fees
The great thing about E-Verify is that it would not deny anyone on RPI status who was previously undocumented.