Report of New Survey of Employers NOT Using E-Verify
By: Dave Fowler
The United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services just posted results
of a new survey of employers not using E-Verify. The following excerpt is from
the survey’s executive summary.
Past surveys of E-Verify users
have shown high levels of satisfaction. However, as of 2009, less than 3 percent of
all employers in the United States participate in E-Verify. Many policymakers have
looked for ways to reduce unauthorized employment, including State law mandates to
participate in E-Verify for all employers (in Arizona and Mississippi) or selected
groups of employers (in 11 states and in the Federal government, which requires participation
by certain Federal contractors). This study was designed to determine why employers
do not participate in E-Verify, what factors they desire in E-Verify, and what they
think about a mandatory program.
This report presents the results
of a nationwide survey of nonusers—i.e., companies that have never signed a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) to participate in E-Verify. The response rate was too low to
provide reliable national estimates; however, several broad patterns can be detected
from the 511 respondents if the survey is treated as a case study. Therefore, this
report treats the results as a case study and supplements the survey of nonusers with
results from focus groups of additional nonusers.
The principal barrier to participation
in E-Verify appears to be a lack of awareness of the Program. Among the case study
participants, 63 percent were not familiar with E-Verify. Case study participants
were often positive about the characteristics of E-Verify, and among the 101 who answered
a question concerning their future plans, 23 percent definitely planned to participate
in E-Verify in the future (while 32 percent would not participate unless mandated
to do so). For those employers who have heard of E-Verify, the information often came
from nongovernmental sources such as professional organizations.
The other primary reasons for
not participating were not perceiving a benefit from participating, and thinking it
would be too costly or time-consuming to participate. The perception of burden is
based in part on employers’ reported negative experiences with other government Internet-based
programs (such as the Social Security Administration/Business Services Online Website).
The case study participants supported many
program changes to E-Verify, with the most popular including the increased use of
technology to identify fraudulent documents and to verify identity, allowing a formal
appeal by an employer and/or employee of a final case finding, and allowing verification
of job applicants before a job decision is made.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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