E-Verify System Embraced by Employers in California
As more employers in Bay Area screen their new hires through an immigration verification system, many illegal immigrants will find it harder to secure a job.
From corporate giants like Chevron and Apply to the non-profit Kaiser Permanente health care organization and the organic-friendly grocer Berkeley Bowl, over 26,000 employers in California have signified their interest in the federal E-Verify program, the system that examines the immigration status of employees.
As more states are starting to require private and public employers to use the E-Verify system, the state of California has made headway by making it voluntary. This month, it has passed a measure barring local governments from forcing companies to use electronic verification.
Despite this, the number of job sites in California that use E-Verify to check the immigration status of their workers, which is usually done on the first couple of days on the job, rose by 37% to over 90,000 compared to the same period last year. California has more job sites utilizing the electronic verification system than any other states.
Some companies run their employees through the E-Verify database voluntarily in hopes of steering clear of immigration raids or government audits that could only lead to penalties and fines, or damage their business reputation.
In the case of federal contractors, they also run their employees through the verification system because they must. When the system flags documents as suspicious, employees can then challenge the Department of Homeland Security or simply quit.
In the past year, approximately 2.5 million workers in California had their documents audited through the verification system.