New state laws and the growing fear of workplace enforcement have led to 1,000 new companies signing up per week for E-Verify. Arizona and Mississippi, who have mandatory E-Verify laws, along with several others that have some sort of E-Verify law in place lead the trend, but states without mandatory laws are also signing up at a fast pace.
According to a Boston Globe article, the number of companies registered in Massachusetts, which has no E-Verify law in place, has quadrupled over the last three years, including an elite Boston social club.
"God knows we check everything," said Lassaad Riahi, general manager of the Algonquin Club, in the Boston Globe report. "We don't want to hire anybody that doesn't have the proper identification or the proper IDs or the proper number or the proper something."
With modifications, including the recent addition of U.S. passport data, E-Verify has gotten more reliable. Last year, 3.9 percent of queries did not match, which is similar to the roughly 5 percent of the workforce that is estimated to be here illegally.
"The system is working," said Kathy Lotspeich, deputy chief of verification for US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Homeland Security agency that operates E-Verify. "We rarely get criticism from people who actually use the program."
The authorizing language for E-Verify was set to expire last week, but a six-month reauthorization is part of the Omnibus Appropriations bill currently being debated in the Senate. The Senate will also consider an amendment proposed by Senator Jeff Sessions that would extend E-Verify for another five years.
For more on this story, see the Boston Globe.
See what House Members signed Reps. Brian Bilbray and Heath Shuler's letter urging the House leadership to consider an E-verify extension in the House.
Updated: Mon, Mar 9th 2009 @ 2:07pm EDT