- SHRM is telling employers to get familiar with E-Verify, as it could soon be mandatory. E-Verify, the government's Web-based employment verification system, is a pilot program for most employers, who voluntarily use it to authorize new hires’ eligibility to work in the U.S.
- E-Verify is already mandatory for federal contractors, some state contractors and companies that want to participate in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training program when hiring foreign graduates of U.S. colleges.
- President Donald Trump wants to add $15 million to the Department of Homeland Security’s budget to start making E-Verify mandatory, but allocating the funds requires a congressional vote. SHRM has called on Congress to replace the various state mandates and Form I-9 with one reliable, easy-to-access electronic employment verification system.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has periodically written legislation to make electronic verification permanent, did so once again in February. S. 179, named the "Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act," would require all U.S. employers to participate in E-Verify within one year of the bill's enactment.
One electronic employment verification system might be enough; therefore, E-Verify could probably replace Form I-9. The change could save employers’ administrative time and effort.
Trump and Republican lawmakers might have an added incentive to make E-Verify blanket legislation for all employers: It’s a step closer to their overall goal of tightening immigration policies.