On Wednesday, October 26, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. E-Verify was one of several topics in Secretary Napolitano’s testimony.
Here is the link to the entire DHS testimony: NAPOLITANO
Highlights of Secretary Napolitano’s testimony include the assertion that USCIS has continued to improve E-Verify’s accuracy and efficiency, enhance customer service, and reduce fraud and misuse in a number of additional ways. In addition, the Secretary points out that in March of this year, USCIS launched the new E-Verify Self-Check feature, an innovative service that allows individuals in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status before formally seeking employment. Here is the portion of the testiomony where Secretary Napolitano directly discusses E-Verify and Worksite Enforcement:
Worksite Enforcement and E-Verify
“DHS has implemented a smart and effective approach to worksite enforcement. By focusing on employers who knowingly and repeatedly hire illegal labor, we are targeting the root cause of illegal immigration, utilizing robust Form I-9 inspections, civil fines, and debarment, and enhancing compliance tools like E-Verify. Since Fiscal Year 2009, ICE has audited more than 6,000 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor, debarred 441 companies and individuals, and imposed more than $76 million in financial sanctions—more than the total amount of audits and debarments during the entire previous administration. In Fiscal Year 2011, ICE also criminally arrested 221 employers accused of violations related to employment, an agency record. In short, our approach to worksite enforcement has been working, and has been successful at bringing employers into compliance with the law.
As a corollary, we have strengthened the efficiency and accuracy of E-Verify – our web-based employment verification system managed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and designed to assist employers in complying with the law. As of Fiscal Year 2011, more than 292,000 employers have enrolled in E-Verify, representing more than 898,000 locations. More than 1,000 new employers enroll each week and the number of employers enrolled in E-Verify has more than doubled each fiscal year since 2007. In Fiscal Year 2011 alone, E-Verify processed 17.4 million employment queries.
In March of this year, USCIS launched the new E-Verify Self-Check feature, an innovative service that allows individuals in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status before formally seeking employment. This voluntary, free, fast, and secure service gives users the opportunity to submit corrections of any inaccuracies in their DHS and Social Security Administration records before applying for jobs, thereby making the process more efficient for employees and employers. The Self Check service is currently available in both English and Spanish to users who maintain an address in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Self Check will be available nationwide by March 2012.