Immigration was one of Governor Rick Scott’s keycampaign issues. On hisfirstday in office he issued anExecutive Order
which requiresstate agencies to use the E-Verify system to verifyemployment eligibility of stateemployees and contractors.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify isthe internet-basedcompanion to Form I-9Employment EligibilityVerification that allowsanemployer, in three to fiveseconds,to determineaworker’s employmentauthorization status bycomparing informationlisted onForm I-9withsome 455 millionSocial Security records and 80million Homeland Security visa,citizenship and U.S. passportrecords.
Voluntary vs. MandatoryEnrollment
The Department of HomelandSecurity strongly encourages,but does not currently require,states to mandate employers’enrollment in E-Verify.At thistime, however, four statesrequirethatall employers beenrolledin the systemwhilenine have some form of E-Verifyrequirement. There are sevenstates, including Florida
withpending legislation that wouldrequire enrollment. To dateonlythe state of Illinois barsemployers from E-Verifyenrollment.
Also, asof September 8, 2009, certainfederal contractors must enrollnew and existing employees inthe system.
E-Verify was hailed by PresidentGeorge W. Bush as “the bestmeans available to confirm thework authorization of theworkforce.
Likewise, otheradvocates of enrollment claim“[t]he statistics show E-Verifyworks . . ..Even for employeeswho receive initial mismatchesand are later confirmed as workauthorized, E-Verify informsthem of possible errors withtheir government records. Byclearing up mismatches soonerrather than later, E-Verify cansave these employeessignificant time andfrustration.”
In contrast, opponents such asthe American ImmigrationLawyers Association (AILA) claimthat “E-Verify does noteffectively root out allundocumented workers. Someundocumented workers will beerroneously confirmed as