Claims that the E-Verify program does not have the capacity for widespread use are false

Charges are made by opponents of E-Verify that the program cannot handle the large volume of work necessary for mandatory nationwide use. These charges are refuted in statements from some of the leading officials of the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services, cited below.

1. Debunking the E-Verify Capacity Problem, by Stewart Baker, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security. May 21, 2008. (Second in a series on E-Verify issued in the DHS Leadership Journal)

"Based on a recent load testing, the system has the capacity to handle 240 million queries a year. That’s three to four times the number of people who are usually hired in a given year."

2. The following is quoted from Congressional testimony on June 10, 2008 by Jonathan R. Scharfen, Deputy Director, USCIS:

"The E-Verify program infrastructure is capable of handling the volume of queries that would be necessary for a nationwide mandatory employment verification system.

"DHS and SSA conducted cooperative end-to-end load testing of the Verification Information System (VIS), which is the database that supports E-Verify, in September of 2007. The results of the testing showed that E-Verify has the capacity to handle up to 60 million queries per year. This capacity is in line with the projected 60 million new hire queries per year that would result from mandatory E-Verify legislation applicable to all U.S. employers. DHS will continue to work with SSA to update the current pilot architecture to ensure that DHS and SSA can provide the most stable environment possible to the employer community and to create an independent environment for E-Verify queries, separate from SSA’s other processing needs."

3. Later Congressional testimony on Feb. 10, 2011 by Theresa Bertucci, Associate Director, Enterprise Services Directorate, USCIS, confirmed the capacity of the E-Verify program:

"Ensuring Future Capacity to Administer Increased Use of E-Verify.

"The E-Verify program is well-equipped to handle continued expansion. E-Verify currently has the capacity to receive at least 60 million electronic queries annually if all new hires were run through the E-Verify program. USCIS has invested in a dedicated information technology environment to transfer data from E-Verify to SSA to handle increased growth in query volume. To further help ensure continuous service in the future, USCIS expects to execute a service-level agreement with SSA in the near term. The service-level agreement will define the requirements for SSA to establish and maintain the capacity and availability of its system to support E-Verify."

4. E-Verify job-check system has room to grow, agency says, by Stephen Dinan, in The Washington Times, March 15, 2012.

" ‘We have the capacity currently to process far more queries than we currently handle. And so we can right now handle the expansion of E-Verify to additional states. But if it was mandated across the country, it would take us some time to ramp up for that exponentially greater volume,’ said Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that handles legal-immigration benefits.

"An aide on the Judiciary panel said Mr. Smith's legislation [H.R. 2885] phases in the checks, which would give E-Verify a chance to ramp up. It also gives the Homeland Security secretary a waiver power to delay implementation for six months.

"As for additional resources, the aide said, the administration could submit any new needs to the Appropriations Committee. …"