Update on E-Verify

This is a follow-up to my experience this morning logging on to E-verify for the first time, as required now by Arizona law.  After some research, it is becoming clear to me that the federal government's official position and the one that companies must agree to adopt when using e-verify is this:  When using e-Verify, it is against the law to screen out anyone in the hiring process based on immigration status.  Even if a company were to develop very strong evidence in the hiring process that a person is not a legal worker, that worker must still be hired (or at least not not-hired based on immigration status, if that makes sense).  Then, and only then, after the person is on the payroll, may the company begin the process of checking to see if that person is legal.  After weeks of various government steps, it may be required that the company fire that person, but apparently it could bring strong penalties to fire the person before the process has played out.

Is this nuts or what?  Its like having a job that requires an engineering degree but to not be able to ask during the hiring process if the candidate has an engineering degree and then being forced to fire the person after a few weeks of work for not having an engineering degree.  This is certainly a process that only the government could design, and one that completely ignores the substantial costs associated with taking on a new employee,

What really makes this interesting to me is that the Arizona law that requires the use of this system by Arizona companies was intended to end the use of illegal day laborers.  But in fact, there is absolutely nothing about this system that can be applied to day labor, given the way the timeframes work and the prohibition on pre-screening before the hire.   In fact, rather than being liable day one for hiring an illegal immigrant, one could argue with this system that, as long as one is following the process, a business is covered for weeks of an illegal immigrant's work -- covered so well that it is arguably illegal to fire said illegal alien worker until the multi-week process plays itself out.

  • http://that-xmas.livejournal.com Xmas

    In fact, rather than being liable day one for hiring an illegal immigrant, one could argue with this system that, as long as one is following the process, a business is covered for weeks of an illegal immigrant's work -- covered so well that it is arguably illegal to fire said illegal alien worker until the multi-week process plays itself out.

    Tada!

    Are you still required to pay someone their wages earned up to the point you fire them if they were working illegally?

  • http://goodmorningeconomics.wordpress.com jsalvati

    I'm curious about the 'substantial costs' to an employer when hiring a new employee. Could you describe them? I'm young so, I haven't really had an opportunity to experience the labor market from the employer side.

  • HTRN

    All I can say about this ridiculous situation is this:
    Elephant: A mouse built to government standards.

  • Larry Sheldon

    jsalvati said: I'm curious about the 'substantial costs' to an employer when hiring a new employee. Could you describe them?

    I've been out of the "labor" part of the business world for a very long time, but back in the day when we were estimating "overhead" for a project the rule of thumb was that every piece of paper handled cost $25.00 no matter the reason.

    Lots of jobs require a physical examination and maybe a drug test--the last time I paid for that myself (driving a truck a year or two ago) that cost about $125.

    All of the people to whom the new-hire talks during the hiring process is on salary.

    Training and indoctrination are done by people on-payroll who are _not_ doing "productive work" directly toward the bottom line.

    Those are just the things that come quickly to mind.

  • http://www.bobgriggs.com BobG

    My company, Verify I-9 LLC at VerifyI9.com, is a Designated Agent of the E-Verify program. As such, I and my employees have taken the online tutorial and test.

    In your first article, you grossly exaggerated the length and difficulty of the online experience. Because you made no effort to qualify your comments as exaggeration, I can only conclude that you intended to deceive your readers.

    It is obvious that you have a bias against verification and probably immigration laws in general. And that's okay-- differences of opinion is what makes the world go 'round. But let's be intellectually honest about the E-Verify system. Take this from someone who uses the E-Verify program daily... it is incredibly easy.

    Because of your bias, you are apparently likewise unable to understand the nuances of the so-called "discrimination" inherent in, yet allegedly prohibited by the system.

    E-Verify recognizes that the employer is not a trained document analyst. It also recognizes that employment eligibility is a federally-imposed status. It has a bias toward the right to work and the overwhelming majority of individuals in this country who do legally hold that right. It therefore makes perfect sense for the employer to be required to hire pending authorization via E-Verify. Once authorization is denied, "discrimination" (through termination) is not only legal but required.

    You are liable, however, if you have knowledge that a prospective employee is not authorized to work, yet you hire them anyway. If he comes to you and says, "I'm illegal!" then you better not hire him! But if he presents documents representing anything other than obvious forgery, participation in E-Verify takes the liability for verification off of you and puts it squarely on the federal government.

    In other words... like the tutorial and test, the verification process itself requires minimal mental acuity and just a modicum of common sense.

    Now, it may bother you that you might be "required" to hire someone only to fire them less than two weeks later but if you have a better solution, let's hear it.

    And "no immigration law at all" is not an option.

  • Anonymous

    Well, what do you know. BobG, someone whose livelihood depends entirely on enforcing an immoral law instead of doing something productive, says that repealing that immoral law is "not an option."

  • http://www.sanfordassoc.com Ray Sanford

    One of our clients has a low-cost solution to using the E-Verify system.

    Please visit http://www.altoe-verify.com