MPI Article: The Basics of E-Verify, the US Employer Verification System

Reports on Migration

​In July 2011, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released an article, The Basics of E-Verify, the US Employer Verification System. The article reviews the history of E-Verify, how it provides work authorization, arguments for and against making it mandatory, and the system's vulnerabilities and successes to date. It also examines how E-Verify has performed in Arizona, where it has been mandatory since January 2008, in addition to proposing other options for worker authorization, like biometrics. 

The article details the history of E-Verify dating back to before the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which made it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized immigrants. Today, compliance with IRCA is based on the I-9 form, which requires similar information as E-Verify, requiring the workers attest they are authorized to work in the U.S. and that the employer record information about they documents presented by the worker.

The article also showcases the growth of the E-Verify program from its beginnings in 1996 (the Basic Pilot program) as a voluntary pilot to today's program's substantive improvements and need to address its vulnerabilities, for instance around the system must grow to better detect identity fraud and theft. The piece also highlight the Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting and mentions states that have made the program mandatory to date.   

Please click here​ to view the full article. ​