E-Verify is accurate and employers like it

E-Verify is a voluntary, free federal internet program that allows employers to verify the work eligibility of new hires. Because E-Verify is successful in identifying illegal aliens seeking jobs, some local and national proponents of cheap foreign labor try to prevent its application by misrepresenting the program.

A common, unsubstantiated charge is that legally eligible workers are harmed by it because the program is so inaccurate.

Suzanne Bonamici, running for election to Oregon’s Congressional District 1, called E-Verify “notoriously unreliable,”  in a candidate debate sponsored by the Portland  League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women, on Dec. 6, 2011.[1]

Here are some facts about E-Verify.

“Rosemary Jenks, the lawyer who heads up NumbersUSA's Capitol Hill Team, has repeatedly and publicly issued a challenge to the media and open-borders advocates to produce even one example of an American losing a job because the E-Verify system wrongly ordered it.

“If it turned out that of millions of transactions a year, there were 10 or 20 mistakes, we would be concerned but also find that to be an understandably tiny problem.

“But, to date, opponents have NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND an example of even ONE AMERICAN who lost a job due to problems with E-Verify.”

The Biggest 2 Lies About E-Verify (arguments opponents use to keep hiring illegal aliens), by Roy Beck, Jan. 31, 2009.

E-Verify is regularly updated and enhanced to improve its accuracy and usability.  For a description of E-Verify program improvements, see the E-Verify History and Milestones webpage.

In February 2012,  E-Verify added a service called Self Check, which enables citizens to test their Social Security number in the E-Verify program to confirm accuracy.  Thus anyone can make certain in advance that one’s standing as a legal worker is intact.   Self Check is also available in Spanish.

In December 2011, E-Verify reached a new record for that time:  it was in use at more than one million worksites.[2]  As of June 2014, about half a million more worksites had been added.

Customer satisfaction survey – E-Verify

Key Findings of the 2013 E-Verify User Survey

June 2014

More than 520,000 employers at over 1.5 million hiring sites nationwide are using E-Verify to help them confirm whether their newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States. In 2013, the research firm Westat conducted an in-depth survey of nearly 3000 randomly sampled E-Verify employers to assess their satisfaction with the program, shed light on how they are using E-Verify, and suggest recommendation for further improvements. The following are [some] key findings from the survey.

Employer Confidence and Satisfaction with E-Verify

1. Most E-Verify employers believe that E-Verify is effective (92 percent) and perceive it as highly accurate (89 percent).

2. Overall, 97 percent of E-Verify employers agree that the system is user friendly. They continue to express high levels of satisfaction with E-Verify’s features and processes, including enrollment and start-up, system navigation, system reliability, program resources, and technical help.

3. Most E-Verify employers agree that the mandatory tutorial adequately prepared them to use E-Verify (93 percent), that the tutorial was easy to understand (91 percent), and that it answered all of their questions (87 percent).

4. Among employers who participate in E-Verify because of federal, state, or local government requirements, 70 percent say that they would be “likely” or “very likely” to continue with the program even if they were not required to do so.

[To view remainder of summary, click here.]

Do some illegal workers escape detection?

Linda Chavez in a column of Dec. 30. 2011,[3] asserted that the failure rate for identifying illegal workers under E-Verify is almost 50 percent, arguing this disqualifies the program for mandatory use.  Other open-borders advocates also cite similar criticisms.

Jack Martin, FAIR Special Projects Director, answers the criticism succinctly:[4]

“It is clear that some illegal alien workers escape detection by the E-Verify system, but no one knows how many. The false confirmation percentage cited in the GAO [Government Accountability Office] report was an estimate by a government contractor. Since that GAO report was issued, Richard Stana, the GAO director for homeland security and justice, reported to Congress in February 2011, ‘USCIS has reduced the incidence of ... E-Verify's vulnerability to fraud.’ And further progress in reducing false confirmations will be made when E-Verify is made a national mandatory system for all employers because the proposed legislation requires SSA to report evidence of false use of SSNs.

“The irony in the claim of unreliability of the E-Verify system is that it is not being made as an argument for improving the system. It is cynically being made by defenders of illegal aliens in an effort to prevent E-Verify from being expanded nationwide. They are trying to preserve job opportunities for illegal workers.”


[1] http://blip.tv/community-media-videos/league-of-women-voters-oregon-dist-1-congressional-candidate-forum-5799173

[2] http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Verification/E-Verify/E-Verify_Native_Documents/Everify%20Studies/Key-Findings_of_E-Verify_User_Survey_2013.pdf

[3] http://www.creators.com/opinion/linda-chavez/coulter-s-self-fulfilling-prophecy-11-12-30.html

[4] http://www.steinreport.com/archives/unreliability_of_e-verify.html