Government Shutdown

E-Verify shuttered during shutdown

e-verify

Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to process green card and citizenship applications along with a host of other immigration paperwork through the shutdown, one of its most visible functions has gone dark.

E-Verify — the service that allows employers to voluntarily verify U.S. citizenship status for new hires -- won't be available until funding is restored, according to CIS officials.

E-Verify is not available because it is the only operation at the Homeland Security Department component  funded by an appropriation, said CIS spokesman Bill Wright. The agency brings in enough in fees — about $3.1 billion — from immigration applications, petitions and other functions to otherwise support itself.

E-Verify compares information provided by new employees on their I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms against government records to confirm their eligibility to work legally in the United States. As a result of the shutdown, the agency said employers won't be able to use any of the system's functions, which include enrolling companies in the program, verifying employment eligibility, viewing and taking action on cases and running reports.

A notice on CIS's website posted Oct. 1 said as a result of E-Verify's closure, employees won't be able to resolve pending tentative nonconfirmation rulings until after the shutdown. If the information provided by an employer for an employee's E-Verify check matches up with government records, the potential employee receives an "employment authorized" response from E-Verify. If the information provided doesn't match up with government records, the system issues a tentative nonconfirmation ruling and the employee gets an opportunity to resolve the problem.

CIS said it has suspended the "three-day rule" for cases affected by the shutdown and would provide additional guidance for employers once it reopens. The rule requires employers to have employees fill out and return their I-9 forms within three days of their first paid day on the job.

Although participation in the service is voluntary in most places, some states have incorporated E-Verify checks into state employment law. All federal contractors have to participate.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Oct. 1 that taking E-Verify offline could be problematic for Georgia, because state law requires private employers with more than 10 workers to use the program. Additionally, the paper reported that all city, county and state government agencies in Georgia require contractors to use the program.

Arizona also requires employers in the state to run new hires' names through the system. Reports in the Tucson Sentinel on Oct. 1 quoted an employment lawyer who said although the process was murky in light of the closure, but employers would still be able to hire new workers. The checks have to be done after a worker is hired, the lawyer said, and until a "non-confirmed" notice is received from E-Verify, new hires are able to work.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group