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Congress considers mandatory E-Verify

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 3711) would require all employers to use E-Verify within two years.

E-Verify, operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), checks the Social Security numbers of new hires against the records of Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to confirm an individual’s eligibility to work in the United States.

The Act would phase-in the mandatory use of E-Verify based on the size of an employer’s workforce:

  • Businesses with more than 10,000 employees would have to comply within six months;
  • Businesses with 500 to 9,999 employees would need to comply within 12 months;
  • Businesses with 20 to 499 employees would have to comply within 18 months;
  • Businesses with 1 to 19 employees would need to comply within 24 months; and
  • Employees performing "agricultural labor or services" would be subject to an E-Verify check within 30 months.

What’s more, the Act would replace E-Verify’s current paper-based I-9 system for confirming eligibility with a fully electronic system. However, employers could continue to use the paper system, if desired.

Employers would also have the option to use E-Verify to check the work eligibility of current employees, in addition to new hires, under the bill.

In addition to revamping the E-Verify system, the Legal Workforce Act seeks to hike up penalties on employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants or knowingly submit false information to E-Verify.

Source: Written by Pamela Wolf, J.D. – CCH Intelliconnect, General Counsel Navigator Tracker News Headlines, 9/14/2017

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