Immigration Newsletter

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

E-Verify Deadline Approaches for Federal Contractors and Subs

So mandatory E-Verify use for federal contractors and sub-contractors begins next week (unless it is postponed again) on September 8, 2009. A contract awarded after that date can only be awarded to a contractor who agrees to use the E-Verify system on all new hires and on all existing employees who work on projects under the new contracts.

The concept of E-Verify is a good one in my opinion, but I suspect it will be subject to the same kind of bureaucratic nonsense as those terrorist watch lists we hear so much about. The ones where supposedly some innocent salesman from Iowa can't get on a plane without being interrogated and searched for bombs; then six hours later they figure out he's OK but they can't take him off the list and they can't tell him what it says -- so it keeps on happening every time he goes to another airport. Maybe that's just an urban legend...but it sounds pretty believable to me.

Here's a link to the press release that I found on ILW.com

http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2009,0902-EVerify.pdf

Here's an intersting quote from it:

"Since Oct. 1, 2008, more than 7.6 million employment verification queries have been run through the system and approximately 97 percent of all queries are now automatically confirmed as work-authorized within 24 hours or less."

They give us a start date 10/01/2008, but then say that 97% of all queries are NOW automatically confirmed as work authorized within 24 hours or less. Notice they didn't say 97% of all queries since October 2008? What would the overall rate be? Who knows? What is the error rate for false positives and false negatives? I've heard horror stories but I really don't know -- my question is how hard is it going to be to fix if it comes up wrong and will you even know it?

Or will US citizens and legal residents just get denied jobs and never be told it was because (due to an error) they didn't come up as e-verified? I guess we will have to wait and see.