E-Verify and How It is a Double edged Problem
It's been around since 1997. Employers are suppose to submit potential job applicants into the system using their Social Security Number. A person with a false SSN will come back as a mismatch to their name indicating they are illegally in America because everyone in the America has the SSN, usually assigned at birth. The number NEVER changes until they die. Stolen SSN's are sold to many undocumented people. Some use the SSN of a dead US citizen. The number is quickly checked against the national database kept my Homeland Security and Immigration.
The problem with the E-verify system is that it is voluntary, not mandatory, which is odd. There are currently about 470,000 businesses enrolled. That will soon change because when the new immigration bill is passed, it will be mandatory. Employers can be fined thousands for hiring an illegal when discovered by unannounced ICE raids. Using the I-9 form is often bogus because the applicant lies about the information and identity proof is legitimate. E-Verify is not normally used to check the existing employees, which is curious. Many southern states have already passed laws forcing most employers to use it.
It has proven effective in halting the illegals in obtaining jobs. While effective, it is creating problems for many service businesses who have positions- low pay ones at $8- that cannot be filled because only the immigrants are willing to work for that wage. It also increases time and cost to businesses to use E-Verify. Usually, E-verify is the last step of checks, so by the time HR has checked references, past jobs, a lot of time has occurred. Many businesses also need to upgrade their computer and software systems.
In one landscaping firm trying to fill positions, out of all 50 applicants, all were illegally in the USA. Maybe, it was just bad luck but not one applicant was legal. This forces businesses to raise their wages to attract legal workers and the cost is passed onto the customer. More and more, finding workers for low paying jobs is getting harder. The employers generally feel that the illegals are better workers than the legals. Fast food businesses and some retailers have really felt the impact. Golden Corral stores use to get 50 applications a week at each franchise, now only 10 are received.
If a business does not use the E-verify system, the first offense yields a $7500 fine per person hired. A second offense is $15,000 for each illegal hired.
The E-Verify system will be mandated by any business trying to hire anyone. It is very effective at locating undocumented workers and penalties for not using it are stiff. The system has in effect made the SSN number a national ID card without any mention of being that.