Report on the Employer E-Verify System


The Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2012 Budget is currently in conference committee; the House and Senate working on negotiations over its final draft. Recently, the Senate passed its own version of the Fair Employment and Security amendment, Section 122.


Much of this amendment, particularly sections 1-7, regards the implementation of the Homeland Security created E-Verify system by all Massachusetts public employers, contractors and subcontractors. The E-verify system is an online verification program available to all employers, and it is currently optional.


A fully completed employee I-9 work form may be submitted by employers online through the E-Verify system, which matches it with a database of legal US Citizens and Non-citizens compiled by federal agencies in order to ascertain work eligibility.


Whether or not the E-Verify system is a success or failure is a much disputed topic of debate, and doubtlessly it is a highly complicated issue, on which more research is currently underway.


The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, MIRA, has released its own negative findings on E-verify, summarized in their E-Verify Fact Sheet


The National Immigration Law Center has completed a more detailed report, also concluding that the E-Verify system as it exists now is flawed, published in their report Facts About E-Verify


A newly released report by the Center For American Progress provides perhaps the most in depth look into E-Verify, and finds it a failure as well, describing it in their article Seen and (Mostly) Unseen: The True Costs of E-Verify


However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services offers its own statistics regarding its positive review of the E-verify system which can found at in detail on their Statistics and Reports page


As with all issues regarding immigration legislation, this one is complex and no clear consensus has yet been drawn as to E-Verify would be a success or a disaster if made mandatory in Massachusetts.

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