E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows employers to electronically validate the employment eligibility of newly hired workers. If a person is not a US citizen or an immigrant authorized to work, the system will indicate this to an employer at the time of hire.
E-Verify compares information entered by an employer from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. The employer typically receives a response within a few seconds confirming the employee’s employment eligibility or indicating that the employee needs to take further action to complete their case. If an employer was provided a fictitious identity there will be no match at all.
When first introduced E-verify was an optional tool to help employers not to unlawfully hire persons who are not allowed to work in the US. In some situations employers must use E-Verify. The Department of Homeland Security in 2009 made it mandatory for federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify to validate that employees are eligible to work in the United States.
No federal laws mandate E-Verify use in the public sector, however three states (Arizona, Mississippi, and South Carolina) had state legislatures pass laws requiring E-Verify participation for all employers, both public and private. Nine other states (Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Utah) require E-Verify participation for those working in the public domain: state agencies, contractors or subcontractors.