A number of states, including Louisiana, have recently enacted laws requiring the use of the E-Verify system in hiring. The purpose of the system is to help the government identify illegal immigrants through the hiring process.
The system, developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is sure to be one of the major new developments in employment law. The program works by cross-referencing data provided by an applicant against databases kept by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. If the data does not match, an applicant is flagged.
Louisiana joins four other states in requiring employers to use the systems for all new hires, while 14 more require it to some degree. On the other hand, Illinois and California have passed laws that effectively outlaw use of the system. In particular, California cited costs to employers as a primary concern in forcing businesses to use the system.
Proponents of E-Verify tout its effectiveness at keeping illegal immigrants from holding jobs while also rewarding companies who do not hire illegal immigrants. On the other hand, opponents of the system question its accuracy, particularly in cases where it may incorrectly disqualify an eligible worker. They also argue that employers using the system should receive some protection should it “clear” a candidate who is later discovered to be an illegal worker.
Currently, roughly 288,000 employers use the system across the nation, although the number grows daily. With laws currently on the books, the system appears to have staying power. However, it remains to be seen what long-term effects it may have on the businesses that use it.
Source: The Epoch Times, “States implement new e-verify laws,” Steve Gigliotti, Dec. 30, 2011