A sneak peek at a draft version of the Republican National Committee (RNC) platform briefly available on the RNC website last week reveals that the Republican Party may call for a national E-verify electronic employment eligibility verification program to be used by all businesses in the United States to verify the legal work authorization status of all newly hired U.S. workers. The draft version of the RNC platform has been reposted on the Politico.com website here: ‘Preview of Reforming Government to Serve the People – GOP’.
The final Republican platform will be made public this week when voted on by delegates at the start of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. However, the draft version of the RNC platform contains the following language in a section titled ‘The Rule of Law: Legal Immigration’:
We insist upon enforcement at the workplace through verification systems so that jobs can be available to all legal workers. Use of the E-Verify program – an internet based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees – must be made mandatory nationwide. State enforcement efforts must be welcomed, not attacked. When Americans need jobs, it is absolutely essential that we protect them from illegal labor in the workplace.
E-Verify is a free Internet-based system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the U.S. in a matter of seconds by comparing information from employee’s ‘Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification’ with records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), more than 353,000 employers use E-Verify at nearly 900,000 worksites, and approximately 1,200 new businesses sign up for the program each week.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 made it unlawful for an employer “to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien.” Federal law requires every employer hiring an individual for employment in the United States to verify his or her identity and employment authorization through completion of a Form I-9.
In an attempt to improve the employment eligibility verification process, the U.S. Congress created E-Verify. While federal law mandates that federal contractors and subcontractors in all states use E-Verify, several U.S. states have also enacted laws mandating E-Verify usage, creating a confusing patchwork of regulations for employers to follow.