Program to Check Legal Status Already 99.5% Accurate
WASHINGTON (September 18, 2008) – The E-Verify program, which allows employers to check the immigration status of new employees, has been steadily improving and is now 99.5 percent accurate, according to a new paper by the Center for Immigration Studies. This voluntary program is already screening more than one in ten new hires nationwide, and as of September 13, 2008, has processed 6.21 million queries.
E-Verify is set to expire on November 30, 2008, unless it is re-authorized by Congress. The House of Representatives has already passed a reauthorization bill by a vote of 407-2, while the Senate has not yet taken action.
To help inform debate over E-Verify, the Center for Immigration Studies has produced a thorough evaluation. The Backgrounder, entitled “If It’s Fixed, Don’t Break It: Moving Forward with E-Verify,” is authored by Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Studies at the Center and a former counsel to the 9/11 Commission. The report covers the many facets of the E-Verify debate: statistics regarding usage, cost, and effectiveness; legislative history; executive orders affecting the program; the relationship of E-Verify to worksite enforcement; and past improvements to the program as well as future goals.
The report is available online at www.cis.org. Among the findings:
# As of the first half of FY 2007, only one-half of one percent of eligible employees screened had to take additional steps to obtain work authorization; overall, the system is 99.5% accurate.
# More than 93 percent of employees are verified within five seconds; another 1.2 percent are verified within 24 hours. A new Photo Screening Tool and a streamlined procedure for naturalized citizens to receive authorization are increasing accuracy and efficiency for employers and employees; naturalized citizens no longer need to take remedial action at Social Security.
# About 5 percent of new employees are not confirmed as work authorized, mirroring the same percentage of illegal aliens estimated to be in the labor force.
# When E-Verify became web-based later in 2004, 1,533 employers had signed up. As of September 13, 2008, there are 85,816 employers representing over 446,000 sites and over 6.21 million queries processed. Currently, about 1,000 new employers join per week.
# Eleven states require use of E-Verify in certain circumstances (AZ, CO, GA, ID, MN, MO, MS, NC, OK, RI, and UT).
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