E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify is currently free to employers and is available in all 50 states. It provides an automated link to existing federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. While its usage remains voluntary throughout the country, some states have passed legislation making its use mandatory for certain businesses. More than half of all new hires now go through the system, but the employers who hire most of the illegal workers are allowed to avoid E-Verify.
Immigration is not just in the hands of the federal and state governments. Local businesses can take action by using E-Verify to prevent the hiring of illegal aliens and others like members of the Border Patrol and local enforcement can help the effort. With soaring unemployment rates nationwide, the best thing any smart, practical, law-abiding, civic-minded and patriotic American businesses can do is begin using E-Verify to ensure that all new hires are legal to work in the United States.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) both offered mandatory E-Verify bills in the United States Congress. Both bills would require all businesses to begin using E-Verify over a specified period of time. Sen. Grassley's bill would also reinstate the No-Match letter program along with other provisions that would help identify and fire illegal aliens who currently hold jobs.
Chairman Smith's bill (H.R. 1772) would phase-in E-Verify over a three-year period with 99% of the employers required to use the system within two years. The bill also increases fines and penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
Sen. Grassley's bill (S.202) would phase-in E-Verify over a one-year period and would also require employers to run all current employees through the system.
Three other bills that would mandate the use of E-Verify have also been introduced in the House, including Rep. Phil Gingrey's H.R.478, Rep. DeFazio's H.R.502, and Rep. Grave's H.R.830.