Ohio May Make E-Verify Mandatory

Businesses in Ohio may soon be required to use E-Verify to check the legal status of their new hires, according to the Dalton Daily News.

E-Verify is an online system that allows employers to check whether their new employees are legally allowed to work in the United States – as United States citizens or individuals with proper work authorization – by comparing the information given on I-9 forms to a government database of Social Security numbers, immigration records and passport records.

The system is available to businesses free of charge, yet the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act mandates that employers are not allowed to use it to screen job applicants before offering them a job.

“It gives employers a high level of confidence that the people they have hired are actually authorized to work,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies with the Center for Immigration Studies. “It’s just another way to ensure that your employees are who you think they are.”

Although the E-Verify program is currently voluntary in the state, businesses may soon be obligated to use the program. Rep. Courtney Combs has co-sponsored a bill that would require all employers in Ohio to use E-Verify. He said he believes that many Americans are in desperate need of jobs, and the bill will ensure that the jobs available are going to legal applicants, reported the source.

“I don’t have anything at all against immigration or immigrants if they come here legally,” Combs told the source. “It’s a straightforward bill that says if you are here legally, then fine, you can work here, but if you are here illegally, you can’t.”

About 5,466 employers in Ohio have already adopted the system voluntarily. Current stats demonstrate an 80 percent increase in use of the program over the past three years.