E-Verify logo

E-Verify was originally established in 1997 as the Basic Pilot Program to prevent illegal aliens from obtaining employment illegally in the United States. In August 2007, DHS secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez announced several steps to tighten and expand employment eligibility verification. They started by requiring all federal contractors and vendors to use E-Verify. The Internet based program is free and maintained by the United States government. Some states have passed legislation making it mandatory for certain businesses, other states require all employers use E-Verify.

E-Verify compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from U.S. government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there is a mismatch, E-Verify alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem; they must contact the appropriate agency to resolve the mismatch within eight federal government work days from the referral date.[1] The program is operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with Social Security Administration.

According to the DHS website, more than 404,295 employers now use E-Verify.[2] Over 1,400 companies enroll in the program every week.[3] According to DHS, in 2011 a random sample of E-Verify users was surveyed on satisfaction with the program. DHS called the results "outstanding" noting that E-Verify received an overall customer satisfaction rating of 85, which is "based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the national indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services available to U.S. residents." DHS notes that E-Verify’s score of 85 is a three point increase from the 2010 survey and that E-Verify is "a trailblazer when compared to its federal government counterparts" because "E-Verify’s score is 20 points above the current federal government average."[4]


  • History 1
  • Operations 2
  • Mandated use 3
    • Federal government 3.1
    • Federal contractors 3.2
    • OPT extension for students 3.3
  • State laws 4
    • Alabama 4.1
    • Arizona 4.2
    • California 4.3
    • Colorado 4.4
    • Florida 4.5
    • Georgia 4.6
    • Idaho 4.7
    • Illinois 4.8
    • Indiana 4.9
    • Louisiana 4.10
    • Minnesota 4.11
    • Mississippi 4.12
    • Missouri 4.13
    • Nebraska 4.14
    • North Carolina 4.15
    • Oklahoma 4.16
    • Pennsylvania 4.17
    • Rhode Island 4.18
    • South Carolina 4.19
    • Tennessee 4.20
    • Utah 4.21
    • Virginia 4.22
  • Criticism 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The program was originally established in 1997 as the Basic Pilot Program along with two other programs created to prevent illegal aliens from getting jobs.[5] The others were discontinued. In the two years since ICE finalized the regulations for electronically storing and/or generating I-9 records there has also been a steady increase in the number of administrative I-9 audits – where employers are asked to deliver their I-9 records to ICE within 72 hours for inspection.[6] The USCIS Verification Division reported that over 16,000 E-Verify compliance letters were issued in Fiscal Year 2010. Another 13,000 letters and over 26,000 emails were sent to employers in Fiscal Year 2011. Additionally, another 23,000 e-mails were sent in the first half of Fiscal Year 2012, alone.[7]


All employers, by law, must complete Form I-9. E-Verify is closely linked to Form I-9, but participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most employers. After an employee is hired to work for pay, the employee and employer complete Form I-9. After an employee begins work for pay, the employer enters the information from Form I-9 into E-Verify. E-Verify then compares that information against millions of government records and returns a result.[8]

On 31 August 2007, the program began to include [10]

About 5 percent of queries are identified as "not authorized to work".[11] A 2008 Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder states that the E-Verify system is 99.5 percent accurate.[12]

During the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 E-Verify, is anticipated to be inaccessible for the duration of the shutdown. Also, the "three-day rule" for processing employment eligibility queries in E-Verify is indefinitely suspended pending a resolution of 2013 funding impasse.[13]

Mandated use

Federal government

As of September 2007, most of the federal government did not use the system when hiring employees, but an Office of Management and Budget directive mandates that all federal government agencies sign up to use E-Verify by 1 October 2007.[14]

Social Security Administration failed to perform required verifications of the Social Security numbers of 19 percent of its own new hires during an 18-month period, according to a January 2010 report from the agency’s inspector general.[15]

Federal contractors

As of 8 September 2009, employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services E-Verify Website
  • DHS E-Verify web page
  • FAIR E-Verify Talking Points
  • EPIC Spotlight on Surveillance article Electronic Privacy Information Center. An article describing defects, problems, and dangers of the E-Verify system and its use.
  • The Problem with E-Verify The American Civil Liberties Union explains the many pitfalls associated with E-Verify.
  • How E-Verify Works and How it Benefits American Employers and Workers: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, 27 February 2013

External links

  1. ^ "Resolving a tentative nonverify". 2011-02-06. Retrieved 6 Jun 2010. 
  2. ^ USCIS - History and Milestones
  3. ^ "DHS – E-verify". 2009-04-19. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.uscis.gov/portal/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=04db32802cbc8210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=04db32802cbc8210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD See also, http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Verification/E-Verify/E-Verify_Native_Documents/UCSICE-VerifyFinalReport2011Addendum-FINAL.pdf
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet".  
  6. ^ "ICE Releases Guidance on Evaluating Electronic I-9 Systems". LawLogix Group, Inc. John Fay. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  7. ^ "Can E-Verify "Self-Assessment" Help an Employer?". The National Law Review. LawLogxGroup, Inc. 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Companion to Form I-9". 2010-04-12. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Franklin, Stephen (2007-09-25). "Fighting the flood of phony IDs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  10. ^ Casey, Winter (2007-08-10). "Administration announces border, immigration initiatives". National Journal's Technology Daily. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  11. ^ Dinan, Stephen (2007-09-25). "U.S. pushes E-verify for hires". Washington Times. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  12. ^ http://www.cis.org/Everify. Cis.org. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ Binshteyn, Nataliya (2 October 2013). "Government Shutdown Prompts E-Verify Closure, Imperils Other Immigration Services". The National Law Review ( 
  14. ^ "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Statement for the Record: E-Verify". 2008-05-20. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "SSA fails to E-Verify 19 percent of new hires, IG says". 2010-01-11. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services E-Verify Fact Sheet". 2009-12-18. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  17. ^ "Questions and Answers: Extension of Optional Practical Training Program for Qualified Students". 2012-04-25. 
  18. ^ Kephart, Janice. (2011-05-26) Arizona Catches a Break from the Supreme Court | Center for Immigration Studies. Cis.org. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  19. ^ Jon Feere, "An Overview of E-Verify Policies at the State Level," July 2012, Center for Immigration Studies. Available at: http://cis.org/e-verify-at-the-state-level
  20. ^ "Alabama Immigration Law: E-Verify Now Required". Reuters. 10 June 2011. 
  21. ^ http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/searchableinstruments/2011rs/bills/hb56.htm
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jon Feere, "An Overview of E-Verify Policies on the State Level," Center for Immigration Studies, July 2012. Available at: http://cis.org/e-verify-at-the-state-level
  23. ^ Mears, Bill (25 May 2011). "High court backs Arizona immigration law that punishes businesses". CNN. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  24. ^ a b McCombs, Brady (11 December 2008). "State's employer sanctions law goes mostly unused". Arizona Daily Star. 
  25. ^ Arizona Revised Statutes
  26. ^ Format Document
  27. ^ a b c d e Jon Feere, "An Overview of E-Verify Policies at the State Level," Center for Immigration Studies, July 2012. Available at: http://cis.org/e-verify-at-the-state-level
  28. ^ http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1236_bill_20110909_enrolled.pdf
  29. ^ a b Feere, Jon. (2011-10-14) California Limits E-Verify, Supports Illegal Hiring Practices | Center for Immigration Studies. Cis.org. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  30. ^ E-Verify Legislation Guide. Clientconnexions.com. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  31. ^ Temecula Municipal Code (Temecula, California). Qcode.us. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ http://www3.murrieta.org/ccar/2010/122110/Reports/SR%20C4%20Ordinance%20E-Verify.pdf
  34. ^ Avants, Maggie. (2011-01-04) Murrieta's E-Verify Ordinance Makes National Headlines – Murrieta, CA Patch. Murrieta.patch.com. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  35. ^ Lovett, Ian (4 January 2011). "Patch of California Cracks Down on Illegal Immigration". The New York Times. 
  36. ^ Riverside, California | City of Arts & Innovation | City Jobs. Cityjobs.riversideca.gov. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  37. ^ http://www.ci.santa-maria.ca.us/newsreleases/20100409a.pdf
  38. ^ http://www.ci.santa-maria.ca.us/minutes/CityCouncil-20100406rm.pdf
  39. ^ City of Lake Elsinore : Business License. Lake-elsinore.org. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  40. ^ Lake Elsinore, California. Codepublishing.com. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  41. ^ WILDOMAR: Council adopts limited E-Verify policy. Nctimes.com (11 August 2010). Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  42. ^ City of Lancaster : Business Licensing. Cityoflancasterca.org. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  43. ^ City could use E-Verify for immigration status – Daily Pilot. Articles.dailypilot.com (14 August 2010). Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  44. ^ Tom Davidson. Santamariatimes.com (13 August 2010). Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  45. ^ http://articles.ocregister.com/2010-05-18/crime/24637080_1_illegal-immigration-mayor-allan-mansoor-immigration-debate
  46. ^ "Calif. City Takes Stand Against Illegal Immigration as Ariz. Boycott Battle Rages". Fox News. 20 May 2010. 
  47. ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. 
  48. ^ http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251695475820&ssbinary=true;
  49. ^ http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2011/11-116-suspend.pdf
  50. ^ "Sunshine (State) Surprise - Florida's New E-Verify Requirement". The National Law Review. Greenberg Traurig, LLP. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  51. ^ http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/e-verify-on-the-fritz-likely-due-to-flor-38559/
  52. ^ http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2005_06/fulltext/sb529.htm
  53. ^ Pickel, Mary Lou (19 March 2008). "Ga. employers use system to deter illegal workers". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
  54. ^ a b http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/fulltext/hb87.htm
  55. ^ Jon Feere, "An Overview of E-Verify Policies at the State Level," Center for Immigration Studies, July 2012. Available at: http://cis.org/e-verify-at-the-state-level See also, http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/iteam/I-Team-Illegal-Workers-20120213-pm-pk
  56. ^ Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter - The State of Idaho
  57. ^ http://www.alipac.us/f12/idaho-joins-e-verify-ride-program-283475/
  58. ^ Marks, Alexandra (7 July 2008). "With E-Verify, too many errors to expand its use?". Christian Science Monitor. 
  59. ^ "Notice for Illinois Employers about E-Verify". United States Department of Homeland Security. 6 October 2008. 
  60. ^ "E-Verify again an eligibility verification option for Illinois employers". Retrieved 26 Dec 2009. 
  61. ^ "New Illinois E-Verify Law Takes Effect on January 1, 2010: Special Illinois Procedures Required". Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  62. ^ Enrolled Act, Senate Bill 0590
  63. ^ http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=760867
  64. ^ "Louisiana Passes E-Verify Bills Covering State Contractors and Private Employers". Numbers USA. 8 July 2011. 
  65. ^ Budget deal brings E-Verify back, but with a twist | Minnesota Public Radio News
  66. ^ http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/ss2011/11-3590.htm
  67. ^ "Mississippi Requires Use of E-Verify by Employers". Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 25 March 2008. 
  68. ^ a b c d e "Mississippi Employment Protection Act (Senate Bill 2988)". Mississippi Senate. 2008. 
  69. ^ Fact Sheet
    USCIS - USCIS and Mississippi Implement New E-Verify Tool to Combat Fraud
  70. ^ USCIS - USCIS and Mississippi Implement New E-Verify Tool to Combat Fraud
  71. ^ http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills081/billpdf/truly/HB1549T.PDF
  72. ^ http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/101/PDF/Slip/LB403.pdf
  73. ^ http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H36v8.pdf
  74. ^ "Phase-In Mandatory E-Verify Law Passes in North Carolina". The National Law Review. Jennifer G. Parser. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  75. ^ "North Carolina to Join Ranks of States Requiring Employers to Enroll in E-Verify". The National Law Review. Poyner Spruill LLP. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  76. ^ http://ssl.csg.org/dockets/29cycle/29A/2009adocketbills/1929A04ok.pdf
  77. ^ http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0637&pn=2347
  78. ^ "New Law Mandates E-Verify for Public Construction Projects in Pennsylvania". The National Law Review. Greenberg Traurig, LLP. 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  79. ^ http://www.riaclu.org/documents/Carcieri_Executive_Order_immigration.pdf "State of Rhode Island Division of Purchase – E-Verify Information". Retrieved 26 Dec 2009. 
  80. ^ http://www.governor.ri.gov/documents/executiveorders/2011/Executive_Order_11-02.pdf "Chafee says marriage equality, rescinding E-Verify important to economic growth". Retrieved 4 Jan 2011. 
  81. ^ PolitiFact Rhode Island | Chafee says only six states use E-Verify
  82. ^ http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess117_2007-2008/bills/4400.htm http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/bills/20.htm
  83. ^ Jackson, Vince (25 Jan 2009). "E-Verify system works, Pickens County officials say". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  84. ^ South Carolina Immigration Law Faces Legal Challenge. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  85. ^ "E-Verify Implemented in Tennessee" Time & Pay, January 2012. Available at: http://timeandpay.com/?p=1792
  86. ^ S.B. 251 Substitute Bill Documents – 2010 General Session. Le.utah.gov. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  87. ^ Bill Tracking - 2010 session > Legislation
  88. ^ Virginia to advance date for E-Verify to 1 June - Washington Times
  89. ^ LIS > Code of Virginia > 2.2-4308.2
  90. ^ http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/E-Verify/E-Verify/Final%20E-Verify%20Report%2012-16-09_2.pdf
  91. ^ The Problem with E-Verify. Reason Magazine (12 February 2013).
  92. ^ Backgrounder: E-Verify. FierceHomelandSecurity (3 August 2011). Retrieved on 18 October 2011.


The American Farm Bureau Federation opposes E-Verify and stated in July that it "could have a significant, negative impact on US farm production, threatening the livelihoods of many farmers and ranchers in labor intensive agriculture."[92]

Chris Calabrese of the American Civil Liberties Union opposes E-Verify, citing concerns that it could expand into an onerous national ID system: "Employers are not police officers, except in this one context where we suddenly want them to be law enforcement agents who are going to police their workforce."[91]

As the accuracy of the program in finding unauthorized workers is a mere 46%[90] according to internal reports, the program has been claimed as inaccurate. However, the margin of error, currently around 8%, is decreasing, as many of the errors came from changing last names after marriage or not informing the government of changes in citizenship status.


On 11 April 2010, Virginia's H.B. 737 was signed into law.[87] In early 2011, Gov. Robert McDonnell announced that he would push up the deadline by 18 months to 1 June 2011.[88] The state's E-Verify policy requires both state agencies and businesses contracting with Virginia to use E-Verify, the result of two pieces of legislation. On 25 March 2011, an E-Verify bill aimed at public contractors was signed into law: H.B. 1859.[89] Effective 1 December 2013, employers with more than an average of 50 employees for the previous 12 months entering into a work or service contract in excess of $50,000 with any state agency must register and participate in E-Verify. Failure to comply with the law results in the employer being debarred from contracting with any state agency for a period up to one year. Such debarment ends upon the employer's registration and participation in E-Verify.[27]


The "Private Employer Verification Act" (S.B. 251) was signed into law on 31 March 2010.[86] It requires all private employers who employ more than 15 or more employees as of 1 July 2010, to use a "status verification system" to verify the employment eligibility of new employees, though it does not mandate use of E-Verify. As an alternative to E-Verify, businesses can use any other federal program the state deems equivalent to E-Verify, including "the Social Security Number Verification Service or similar online verification process implemented by the United States Social Security Administration." The law exempts employers of aliens on H-2A (temporary agricultural) and H-2B (temporary, non-agricultural) visas. An official at the Social Security Administration told the Center for Immigration Studies that the program is not sufficient for determining immigration status.[22]


The Lawful Employment Act (HB 1378), signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam in June 2011, requires that all state and local agencies and private employers enroll and participate in E-Verify or provide certain employment authorization or identity documents effective January 1, 2012, if employing 500 or more; if employing 200-499 by July 1, 2012; and if employing 6-199 by July 1, 1999. Private employers with 5 or fewer employees are exempt from the act.[85]


SC Code Section 41-8-20(B) requires that "[o]n and after 1 July 2009, all private employers of one hundred or more employees who are required by federal law to complete and maintain federal employment eligibility verification forms or documents must ... (1) ... "participate in the E-Verify" [system] ... or "(2) employ only workers who, at the time of employment" have or qualify for a SC driver's license or identification card. SC Code Section 41-8-20(C) extends this requirement to private employers who employ less than one hundred employees on or after 1 July 2010.

Every public employer must register and participate in "federal work authorization program to verify the employment authorization of all new employees." See SC Code Section 8-14-20(A). Public employer must also require public contractors and subcontractors to agree to use e-verify or "to employ only workers who" possess or qualify to obtain a SC drivers license or identification card. See SC Code Section 8-14-20(B). The latter requirement applies as follows: "(1) on and after 1 January 2009, with respect to contractors, subcontractors, or sub-subcontractors of five hundred or more employees; (2) on and after 1 July 2009, with respect to contractors, subcontractors, or sub-subcontractors of one hundred or more employees but less than five hundred employees; and (3) on and after 1 January 2010, with respect to all other contractors, subcontractors, or sub-subcontractors." See SC Code Section 8-14-20(D).

South Carolina conducted approximately 6,000 audits of businesses under the 2008 version of the law. During the first year — 1 July 2009, through 30 June 2010, when the law applied to businesses with 100 or more employees (a total of 2,300 employers) — South Carolina conducted approximately 1,900 audits. The second year, when the law applied to every employer, the state conducted audits of approximately 4,200 businesses.[22]

South Carolina The "South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act" (H. 4400) was signed into law on 4 June 2008, and amended on 27 June 2011, (S. 20).[82][83][84] The law requires all employers to use E-Verify. The original version of the law gave employers the option of confirming the eligibility of new employees through either E-Verify or by checking the validity of driver's licenses and other identification cards. The 2011 amendment made E-Verify the exclusive method for confirming employment eligibility. South Carolina is said to have one of the nation's most effective E-Verify laws in that the state uses an audit process to ensure businesses are in compliance with the law.[22]

South Carolina

On 5 January 2011, less than 24 hours after his swearing-in, Gov. Lincoln Chafee rescinded Executive Order 08-01, calling it "an agent of divisiveness, incivility, and distrust among the state's citizens."[80] In defending his move, Gov. Chafee incorrectly claimed on at least two occasions that Rhode Island was one of only six states with an E-Verify mandate.[81]

In March 2008, Governor Carcieri issued an executive order requiring executive agencies to use E-Verify; and for all persons and businesses, including grantees, contractors and their subcontractors and vendors to use E-Verify.[79]

Rhode Island

The legislation was approved by both houses of the state legislature and aims to ensure that all construction jobs funded by taxpayers employ only documented workers by checking employees’ information against government records.[78]

On 5 July 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed "Public Works Employment Verification Act" (S.B. 637). It requires some public works contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify to determine employment eligibility of all new hires. In order to ensure compliance, employers are subject to complaint-based and random audits. The act takes effect 1 January 2013. Under the act, "public work" means "construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, and/or repair work other than maintenance work, done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of the funds of a public body" where the estimated cost of the total project is in excess of $25,000 but does not include work performed under a "rehabilitation or manpower training program."[77]


The "Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007" (H.B. 1804) was signed into law on 9 May 2007.[76] Among other things, the law requires public contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify (or a third-party program with an equal or higher degree of reliability, should one appear). After 1 July 2008, public employers were prohibited from entering into contracts for the physical performance of services within Oklahoma unless the contractor (and any subcontractor) uses E-Verify to verify the work authorization of all new employees. If an independent contractor, contracting for the physical performance of services in Oklahoma, fails to provide to the contracting entity documentation to verify the independent contractor's employment authorization, the contracting entity is required to withhold state income tax at the top marginal income tax rate as provided under state law.[22]


The North Carolina governor signed H.B. 36 into law on 23 June 2011. All counties and municipalities were required to begin using E-Verify by 1 October 2011. The law also requires private businesses to use E-Verify for new employees, but exempts any "seasonal temporary employee who is employed for 90 or fewer days during a 12-consecutive-month period". Employers with 500 or more employees must be using E-Verify by 1 October 2012; employers with 100 to 499 employees must be using E-Verify by 1 January 2013; and employers with 25 to 99 employees must be using E-Verify by 1 July 2013.[73][74][75] The law does not include a random audit process for determining employer compliance.[22]

North Carolina

On 8 April 2009, Nebraska's L.B. 403 was signed into law.[72] The law requires use of E-Verify by state agencies (and political subdivisions) and by public contractors starting 1 October 2009. Every contract between a public employer and public contractor must contain a provision requiring the public contractor to use E-Verify for new employees physically performing services within Nebraska. The requirement does not apply to public contracts made prior to the operative date of this act. According to state surveys, use of E-Verify appears to be low.[22]


On 7 July 2008, Missouri's E-Verify bill (H.R. 1549) was signed into law.[71] It became effective on 1 January 2009. The law prohibits businesses from knowingly employing, hiring, or continuing to employ an illegal alien to perform work within the state of Missouri. The E-Verify portion of the law does not apply to all businesses, but those businesses that do use E-Verify are provided an affirmative defense that the business has not violated the provisions of the law that prohibit the employment of illegal aliens. All public employers are required to "actively participate" in E-Verify.[22]


As of August 2012 Mississippi was the first state to use USCIS's RIDE program as part of its E-Verify efforts (Florida and Idaho have also since joined). On 13 June 2011, in an effort to improve E-Verify's accuracy in Mississippi, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched the "Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify" (RIDE) program in the state. The RIDE program compares driver's licenses or other government-issued ID cards against data held by the state's motor vehicle agency.[70]

Enforcement of the law, and its effectiveness, remains a significant problem. An official at the Mississippi Attorney General's office explained to the Center for Immigration Studies that his office is tasked with investigating complaints that the public may file about potential violations of the law. However, when asked how often such complaints are filed, he responded, "Rarely." This is consistent with information from a two-day immigration hearing held at the state capital in 2010. Then, a different spokesperson for the Attorney General's office explained that the office had received no formal complaints. A state representative told the Center for Immigration Studies that because the state law grants authority over E-Verify regulation to multiple state agencies, no agency has taken the lead and enforcement has been nominal.[22]

The Mississippi Employment Protection Act requires all Mississippi employers to use E-Verify with new hires.[67][68] Mississippi employers with 250 or more employees must comply with the law as of 1 July 2008.[68] The law goes into effect for employers with 100 to 249 employees as of 1 July 2009.[68] Employers with 30 to 99 employees must comply by 1 July 2010.[68] The law is effective for employers with fewer than 30 employees on 1 July 2011.[68] As of June 2011, a total of 4,336 employers representing more than 9,000 worksites in Mississippi were using E-Verify.[69]


On 7 January 2008, then-Governor Tim Pawlenty signed Executive Order 08-01, requiring use of E-Verify for the state's executive branch employees and for some public contracts. Gov. Mark Dayton allowed the order to lapse in April 2011.[65] A new E-Verify provision requires use of E-Verify only for some public contracts. It requires state contracts for services in excess of $50,000 to require certification from vendors and subcontractors that they have implemented or are in the process of implementing the E-Verify program for all newly hired employees who will perform work under the contract. It exempts contracts entered into by the State Board of Investment.[66]


On 15 August 2011, two pieces of E-Verify legislation were approved in Louisiana. The first bill, H.B. 342, requires all state and local contractors who seek to do business with Louisiana to use E-Verify. The second bill, H.B. 646, encourages all private businesses to verify the legal status of their new hires by providing employers a safe harbor against sanctions if they use E-Verify or another method for determining worker eligibility.[63][64]


On 1 July 2011, Indiana enacted S.B. 590.[62] Among other things, the law requires state agencies and political subdivisions to use E-Verify to determine work authorization status of all employees hired after 30 June 2011. The requirement to use E-Verify also applies to public contractors. The law does not contain any enforcement provisions or any auditing process to determine employer compliance.[27]


Under the new law,[61] which amends the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, Illinois employers are required to sign a sworn attestation either upon initial enrollment in E-Verify, or by 31 January 2010 if they are already enrolled in the program. The attestation form affirms 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. It further states that the employer has posted the required legal notices regarding its enrollment in E-Verify and certain non-discrimination procedures. The employer must retain the signed original attestation and proof of its employees’ E-Verify training.

As a rule, E-Verify is not required in Illinois. In fact, Illinois is the only state that has tried to block the use of E-Verify by private employers. Concerned about inaccuracies in the E-Verify data kept by the federal government as well as ongoing privacy implications for workers, Illinois enacted a law in 2007 that would have prohibited private employers from using E-Verify until the federal government made specific improvements to the system. However, DHS challenged the Illinois law in federal court and eventually won. Thus, the provision of the Illinois law prohibiting employers from using E-Verify was struck down, but the rest of the statute survived. An amended version of the law was enacted in August 2009, and it is that version which went into effect on 1 January 2010.

Section 12(a) of the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act prohibited Illinois employers from using E-verify to verify the work authorization of their employees.[58] The United States Department of Homeland Security sued to prevent the law from taking effect as scheduled on 1 January 2008.[59] On 12 March 2009, agreeing with the federal government, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois ruled that Illinois’ law is invalid under the Supremacy Clause to the U.S. Constitution because it conflicts with the federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). The case was United States v. Illinois, (No. 07-3261, C.D. Ill., 2009).[60]


On 14 July 2013, Idaho joined the E-verify RIDE program, which allows employers to view State ID and driver's license photos during the verification process.[57]

Public contractors and subcontractors are required to declare to the contracting state agency that they have "substantiated that all employees providing services or involved in any way on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or part by state funds or federal stimulus dollars" are legally authorized to work in the United States. According to an official at the state's Department of Human Resources, public contractors are encouraged, but not required to use E-Verify to meet this requirement.[27]

On 29 May 2009, Gov. Butch Otter signed Executive Order 2009-10, mandating, among other things, that state agencies verify that new employees are eligible for employment under federal and state law.[56] While the order does not specifically reference E-Verify, subsequent internal guidelines resulted in all state agencies using E-Verify to meet the order's requirements.[27] The order came into effect on 1 July 2009.


An official at the state's Department of Labor told the Center for Immigration Studies that funding has not been made available for the auditing process rendering the law largely ineffective.[55]

As of 1 July 2007, all public employers in Georgia were required to use E-Verify for all new employees. With additional amendments, the law now requires all public employees to permanently post the employer's federally issued user identification number and date of authorization on the employer's website. If the public employer does not have a website, then the local government is directed to submit the relevant information to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government of the University of Georgia to be posted by the institute on the website created for local government audit and budget reporting.[54]

[52][53] In 2011, the state passed the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011" (H.B. 87), which extends required use of E-Verify to private employers.[54]


Florida was the second State to join the E-verify RIDE program, which allows employers to view State ID and driver's license photos during the verification process.[51]

On 4 January 2011, Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order requiring agencies under his direction to use E-Verify. It was superseded on 27 May 2011, with a similar E-Verify order that brought the policy more in line with standard E-Verify practices by requiring verification of new employees rather than both new and existing employees.[49][50] Specifically, all agencies under the direction of the governor have been directed to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees through E-Verify. Agencies not under the direction of the governor are "encouraged" to follow the same guidelines. All agencies under the direction of the governor must expressly require contractors to use E-Verify for all new employees hired by the contractor during the contract term as a condition of all contracts for the provision of goods and services to the state in excess of nominal value. Additionally, subcontractors performing work pursuant to the contract must use E-Verify. Agencies not under the direction of the governor are encouraged to follow these guidelines as well.[22]


Colorado's E-Verify law became effective on 7 August 2006, and was amended on 13 May 2008, (H.B. 06-1343, amended by H.B. 07-1073 and S.B. 08-193). The amendment created the "Department Program" and is offered as an alternative to E-Verify, meaning that E-Verify is not mandated in Colorado. Public contractors must participate in either E-Verify or the Department Program. The state's Department of Labor and Employment is tasked with investigating complaints and can conduct on-site inspections and random audits of state agencies. It has the authority to request and review citizenship documentation of persons performing work on public contracts. Under the "Department Program" public contractors must consent to random audits to assess compliance with the law.[48]


Cities considering E-Verify ordinances for businesses for 2011 are Costa Mesa,[43] San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria[44] (for all businesses) Santa Barbara, and San Jose. However, Costa Mesa[45][46][47] is the only city that has adapted the same state law as Arizona's SB-1070, allowing the City to arrest those without proper identification of resident status under suspicion of being undocumented.

In 2011, California passed an act to prohibit municipalities from mandating use of E-Verify.[28] At least 20 municipalities had required use of E-Verify,[29] for all businesses and/or companies doing business with the local government, including Mission Viejo[30] (2007), Temecula[31][32] (ordinance 5.06.030) (2010), Murrieta[33][34][35] (ordinance Chapter 5.04) (2010), Riverside,[36] Santa Maria[37][38] (only for city employees), Lake Elsinore[39] (Ordinance No. 1279)[40] (2010), Wildomar[41] (only for contractors) (2010), Lancaster[42] (Ordinance No. 934), Palmdale, San Clemente, Escondido, Menifee, Hemet, San Juan Capistrano, Hesperia, Norco, San Bernardino County, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Simi Valley.[29]


As amended, the law prohibits employers from intentionally and/or knowingly hiring illegal aliens (or a person who employs or contracts with an illegal alien) and requires all employers to use E-Verify during the employment process and keep a record of the verification for the duration of the employee's employment or at least three years, whichever is longer.[25] Additional legislation prohibits the state government from entering into a contract with any contractor or subcontractor that fails to use E-Verify.[26] According to USCIS, there are 39,191 employers in Arizona using E-Verify at 84,703 hiring sites.[27]

The state of Arizona requires employers to participate in E-Verify: the Legal Arizona Workers Act has survived a number of constitutional challenges, up to and including the US Supreme Court[23] and is currently in effect. The Legal Arizona Workers Act requires all Arizona employers to use E-Verify with all newly hired employees, effective 1 January 2008.[24] As of December 2008, 5.6 percent of Arizona businesses had signed up with E-Verify.[24]


The state of Alabama passed a law mandating employers to use E-Verify on new hires.[20] The "Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act" (H.B. 56) was signed into law on 9 June 2011.[21] The act makes it illegal for any business entity, employer, or public employer to "knowingly employ, hire for employment, or continue to employ" an illegal alien to perform work within the state. Effective 1 April 2012, every employer in Alabama must enroll in E-Verify and use the program to check employment authorization. The act creates an incentive for using E-Verify as businesses and subcontractors that enroll in E-Verify are immune from liability for employing an illegal alien. The act requires the Alabama Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish and maintain an E-Verify employer service for any employer in the state with 25 or fewer employees that wants assistance. The Alabama DHS will enroll a participating business in E-Verify on its behalf at no cost.[22] This law is applied to businesses both inside and outside Alabama that do business with the state.


[19] In 2011, the

State laws

In April 2008, U.S. government extended the duration of post-completion work authorization (the "Optional Practical Training" (OPT)) from 12 months to 29 months for certain qualifying students with completed U.S. degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In all circumstances, students are only eligible for this extension if their employer participates in the E-Verify program. If an employer does not participate in E-Verify, students working for those employers are only given 12 months of OPT, and can not get the 17-month extension even if they would otherwise qualify for the extension.[17]

OPT extension for students