How companies deal with e-verify shutdown

As the federal government has still not reached a budget decision, all non-essential functions are still shutdown. One of the functions not available for use is e-verify, a program that allows employers to find out if new hires are eligible to work in the U.S.

In limbo
When an employer inputs information about a potential new hire – things like social security, name and proof of citizenship – a message comes back verifying the employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. However, in the case of certain immigrants, the employer instead receives a Tentative Non-Confirmation message. This basically means that a more thorough check is required as social security information could not be verified.

According to Fox News Latino, many employers were at this stage of the process when e-verify was put on hold. Employees waiting to start their job have to wait even longer, and employers cannot hire some of the workers they need.

Hiring on
In some cases, employers are allowing new hires in the Tentative Non-Confirmation stage to begin working. They plan to run checks in e-verify once the system is back online, the St. Cloud Times reported. Some companies may find out that they have been keeping an ineligible worker, which will lead to complications later. However, many companies feel hiring is worth the risk.

“It is just adding to the administrative cost of hiring,” Scott Wright, an attorney with the Minneapolis firm of Faegre Baker Daniels told the Times.

The point of e-verify is to be sure companies are hiring those legally eligible to work in the U.S. Without the proper visa, green card or citizenship, employees cannot legally work and employers who hire them could get in trouble. The system is meant to protect employers from accidentally breaking the law. However, some fear companies will take advantage of the shutdown and hire an illegal worker knowingly, believing they can get away with it.