Earlier this week, a heated TV Commentator dust-up brought the subject of immigration, legal and illegal, back into the media spotlight.
This then created a variety of questions about how, really, is immigration controlled. According to this article on immigration reform, "some (people) appear to think the E-Verify system is already in force."
These conversations demonstrated that the understanding of E-Verify and who can and must use it are unclear. Here's the real deal:
For the most part, E-Verify is a voluntary program. Employers with certain government contracts or sub-contracts with what’s called the contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause is the primary exception, but some states also require some or all employers to participate. Similar to the FAR clause, these are primarily for State government contracts, but there are exceptions.
You should contact your employment legal counsel to find out for sure if you are required to use E-Verify.
If you are NOT required to use E-Verify, you may still choose to enroll and use it. The benefits to you as an employer are to be confident that you are complying with Federal Act 274A, which prevents the hiring of known Unauthorized Aliens.
So, the short answer is NO, E-Verify is not mandatory. The question of whether it should be will probably be endlessly debated among talk show hosts for years to come.
Learn more about E-Verify and I-9 by reading The Ultimate Guide to I-9 Compliance.