Employment Verification: Challenges Exist in Implementing a Mandatory Electronic Employment Verification System Page: 4 of 24
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work authorization of all newly hired employees. Some of these proposals
would also require employers to use an electronic employment verification
program to verify the work authorization status of existing employees. In
addition, some proposals would provide sanctions for employers who do
not use electronic verification to verify the work authorization status of
employees equivalent to sanctions for employers who do not comply with
the employment verification process established by IRCA.
Currently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a
component within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in
conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA), operates a
voluntary electronic employment verification program, called E-Verify.
While participation in this program remains voluntary, some states are
moving to require all employers in the state to verify newly hired
employees using E-Verify. For example, as of January 1, 2008, the "Legal
Arizona Workers Act" requires all employers in Arizona to verify the
employment eligibility of newly hired employees through the E-Verify
program. This act also provides civil penalties, including the possible
suspension or permanent revocation of all Arizona business licenses, for
employers who are found to intentionally or knowingly employ an
unauthorized alien. In 2008, Mississippi passed the "Mississippi
Employment Protection Act," under which the state will phase in
mandatory newly hired employee eligibility verification with E-Verify for
all employers between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2011. Other states,
including Idaho, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Oklahoma require
employers in certain sectors, such as government employers and
contractors, to verify their employees' work authorization status.
My testimony today is an update of our prior work regarding employment
verification and worksite enforcement. Specifically, I will discuss our
observations on the E-Verify program's capacity and costs, options for
reducing delays and improving efficiency in the verification process,
ability to detect fraudulent documents and identity theft, and vulnerability
to employer fraud and misuse.
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Employment Verification: Challenges Exist in Implementing a Mandatory Electronic Employment Verification System, text, May 6, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290978/m1/4/: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.