An Overview of E-Verify Policies at the State Level

Many states have enacted enforcement-focused immigration laws in an effort to discourage illegal immigration into their jurisdictions. E-Verify, the federally run employment authorization program, has become a central part of this state-level effort. South Carolina is the only state with an active audit process, and the effort appears to make the state’s E-Verify law more effective than it otherwise would be. Many businesses likely conclude that becoming the target of a federal investigation of E-Verify compliance is unlikely. A random, state-level auditing process is much more likely to encourage compliance with a state E-Verify mandate. An audit process necessarily requires a state to obtain a list of employers using E-Verify. Such lists are only available from the federal government. It is clear that better cooperation from federal agencies would make state E-Verify efforts much more effective.

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