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E-Verify 2012-2013 Update


By Hector A. Chichoni

From an US immigration compliance perspective, 2012 was an extreme busy year for E-Verify.  In light of the upcoming immigration reform, 2013 promises to be no less.  The following are a few E-Verify highlights gathered from a variety of government sources:

Made available on line:

1. Self-Assessment Guides for E-Verify users;

2. Quick Audit Report (which allows employers to quickly review their E-Verify activity);

3. The E-Verify Employers Search Tool (which allow users to see which employers are using E-Verify);

4. Tentative Non-confirmation Notices and Referral Letters in 9 additional languages;

5. E-Verify overview in Spanish.

Expanded the following services:

1. Self-check available nationwide in February 2012, giving access to everyone over the age of 16;

2. Florida became the second state to join "Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify" (RIDE);

Incorporated the following technical enhancements:

 1. Supports mobile Web browsing as well as four major browsers: Internet Explorer (version 6.0 and above), Firefox (version 3.0 and above), Chrome (version 7.0 and above) and Safari (version 4.0 and above).

Experienced a tremendous growth:

1. E-Verify enrollment increased by 35% in 2012, and it continues to grow by more than 1,500 employers each week;

2. On January 12, 2013, there were more than 424,000 employers enrolled in E-Verify (1.2 million worksites) and, as of March 19, 2013, there are more than 432,000 employers enrolled. 

If you wish to obtain additional information in connection with this post, please contact Hector A. Chichoni at: 305.960.2277 or at hchichoni@duanemorris.com.

This post does not constitute legal advice for, or establish an attorney-client relationship with, the reader. 

 
 
 
 

E-Verify Launches RIDE Program to Include Driver's License Verification; Starts with Mississippi


On June 13, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) program. Once fully functional, the RIDE program will enable the E-Verify system to check driver's license information provided by employees against what is contained in state motor-vehicle records. Currently, Mississippi is the only state participating. At this time, 4,336 employers representing more than 9,000 worksites in Mississippi use E-Verify.

 

USCIS reports that more than 80 percent of employees present driver's licenses for I-9 completion; therefore, this tool may be beneficial in helping to improve E-Verify's accuracy and to combat document fraud. The agency's ultimate goal is to extend this program to all state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) nationwide.

 

This is part of a strategic expansion reported in the Government Accountability Office's December 2010 report. Prior E-Verify, enhancements included the addition of U.S. passports to the photo-matching process in September 2010.Employers should be aware that full implementation of RIDE will likely lead to a large increase in tentative nonconfirmations due to discrepancies and errors in state motor-vehicle databases.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Rick Scott Issues Executive Orders on E-Verify


On January 4, 2011, Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida issued executive order No. 11-02, which effective immediately, directs Florida state agencies under his direction and any contractors or subcontractors with those agencies to use E-Verify to check the work authorization of all present and future employees. Governor Scott’s order was issued, in part, to fulfill a campaign promise that would “require all Florida employers to use the free E-Verify system to ensure that their workers are legal.” However, on January 4, the governor’s campaign promise fell short of making E-Verify mandatory for all employers. It still remains possible that Governor Scott could attempt to make E-Verify mandatory, especially if the Arizona law is held to be constitutional.

E-Verify is the free Internet-based system administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) that uses Social Security Administration (“SSA”) data to verify an individual’s work authorization. However, in order for E-Verify to conduct its check, employers must draw information from Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 240,000 businesses nationwide and over 10,000 in Florida have signed up for E-Verify. But E-Verify appears to present some challenges. According to recent federal reports, the program is unable to detect unauthorized workers more than half the time (54%) because its antifraud devices, which appear to be practically nonexistent, cannot detect identity theft. Moreover, a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) indicates that inaccuracies and inconsistencies in recording employees’ names will continue to produce erroneous Tentative Nonconfirmations (“TNCs”). According to USCIS, of 22,512 TNCs resulting from name mismatches in fiscal year 2009, approximately 76 percent, or 17,098 TNCs, were for citizens, and approximately 24 percent, or 5,414 TNCs, were for noncitizens. In Rhode Island, for example, E-Verify was so conflict-ridden that incoming Governor Lincoln Chafee terminated it the day after Governor Scott issued the order to adopt it.

There is an increased emphasis on employer compliance under the Obama administration. With employers facing such a multitude of potential penalties and sanctions, employers may want to consider taking proactive steps, such as putting their I-9 compliance “houses” in order and not delaying the auditing of their I-9 forms. Even further, at a recent IMAGE signing ceremony, John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), announced the creation of an employment compliance inspection center in Arlington, Va. The center will house 15 new I-9 auditors who will help field offices around the country to expedite Form I-9 audits. At the signing, Morton said, “Many of our regional offices or our local offices simply don’t have the manpower to conduct that kind of inspection or investigation” to audit US employers and that the new center will “ensure us to have the capacity to do a lot of large-scale audits.” Unless the Republicans win the next presidential election (so far, President Obama is holding at 53% approval rating, according to CNN), the Obama administration shall continue targeting employers for I-9 compliance. The creation of such a center, dedicated exclusively to I-9 audits, is unprecedented and indicative that compliance will not only continue, but also is likely to increase.

 
 
 
 
 

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Reporting employment and immigration law developments that affect Florida employers.

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Michael W. Casey III, Kevin E. Vance, Mark J. Beutler, and Teresa M. Maestrelli practice labor and employment law, with a particular focus on labor and employment litigation, including Title VII, ADEA, ADA, Florida Civil Rights Act, and whistleblower claims, as well as non-compete litigation, in state and federal trial and appellate courts in Florida and throughout the United States. They also represent employers before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the National Mediation Board (NMB), the U.S. Department of Labor, including the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and various state and local agencies, as well as in arbitrations, collective-bargaining negotiations and union representation elections. Hector A. Chichoni practices in the area of US and global immigration law. He chairs Duane Morris's Florida Immigration Practice. The editors of Chambers USA 2010 also selected Mr. Chichoni as a "Leader in the Immigration Field." He has represented a vast number of corporate and individual clients throughout his career ranging from premier US health care organizations, Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations and universities to doctors, professors, researchers and students. His international experience includes handling matters relating to export controls and global corporate compliance and business transactions. He has represented clients in a wide variety of cases before the US Immigration Court.
© 2009- Duane Morris LLP. Duane Morris is a registered service mark of Duane Morris LLP.
The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.