All employers must verify their employees’ eligibility using the latest version of Form I-9 (Revised February 2, 2009), which contains an updated list of acceptable supporting documents. Under the revised Form I-9, expired documents may not be used to verify employment eligibility. In addition, temporary resident cards (Form I-688), employment authorization cards (Form I-688A) and temporary employment authorization cards (Form I-688B) are no longer acceptable.
Pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the attorney general established an employment eligibility confirmation pilot program, now known as “E-Verify.” E-Verify is an Internet-based program that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.
The use of this program is currently free and voluntary. However, federal contractors and subcontractors who are awarded a new contract on or after June 30, 2009 that includes a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause will be required to use E-Verify pursuant to an amended federal regulation, 73 FR 67704. The effective date of this regulation has been delayed until June 30, 2009 to allow the new Administration under President Obama to review the regulation and possibly implement changes. The effective date has also been postponed as a result of lawsuits challenging the regulation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the ACLU.
Although the use of E-Verify does not replace an employer’s obligation to properly complete Form I-9, employers who hire an employee that E-Verify has declared authorized to work are presumed to have not knowingly hired an unauthorized alien. Employers who use E-Verify are required to register with the program and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Social Security Administration agreeing to among other things, allow periodic I-9 audits by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, use E-Verify for new hiring, and post E-Verify informational notices.