E-Verify (formerly known as the Basic Pilot program) is a primarily voluntary, Internet-based program created in 1997 that supplements the I-9 employment eligibility verification process. It allows employers to electronically verify U.S. citizen and noncitizen employees’ employment eligibility with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). While it is voluntary for most employers, it is mandatory for some federal contractors and employers in four states.
Pre–E-Verify employment eligibility verification systems | Legislative authorization and extensions of the Basic Pilot program and additional electronic employment eligibility verification programs | Legislative expansions and administrative changes to E-Verify | States begin requiring employer participation in E-Verify | The future of E-Verify
As state legislatures have considered bills that require employers to use E-Verify, Republicans and Democrats alike have raised concerns about the impact of the program on businesses and the economy. These policymakers are joining a growing chorus of voices who are sounding alarms about E-Verify and the consequences of mandating its use.
Requiring U.S. employers to use an electronic employment eligibility verification system will harm the American economy and U.S. workers while doing little to end the hiring of undocumented workers. Unless currently unauthorized workers are provided a path to legalizing their immigration status, E-Verify1 will impose new costs on employers, drive jobs into the underground economy, increase unemployment, and deprive the government of revenue.