As first reported by SHRM, developments in Washington should lead employers to expect E-Verify to become mandatory “in the near future.” The electronic service cross-references an employee’s Form I-9 information with government records to confirm his or her identity and immigration status.
Use of E-Verify is voluntary for most companies, but it is currently required of federal contractors. Several states have laws mandating or encouraging the use of the service, including:
- Required (all employers): Arizona and Mississippi
- Encouraged (all employers): South Carolina
- Required (public contractors): Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Utah
- Required (state agencies): Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Utah
Though Congress proposed similar measures in the past, and as recently as last February, the sitting president’s support for a mandate lends it extra weight. President Trump’s draft budget, unveiled early last month, sets aside $15 million to the Department of Homeland Security for the implementation of an E-Verify mandate. A followup to the draft budget is expected from the White House later this spring.
If the changes come to fruition, it would be the second time this year that employers had to update their onboarding practices. A new, “smart” version of the Form I-9 became a requirement last January.