September 1, 2015 3:41PM

Employers Ignore E‑Verify

Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, and South Carolina have mandated E-Verify for all new hires in their state (see Table 1), which means that every time an employee is hired the employer must use the E-Verify system to check the worker’s ability to legally work.  In our recent Cato Institute policy analysis, Jim Harper and I document that employers are not using E-Verify despite the mandates in those states.  Washington Examiner reporter Sean Higgins wrote an excellent piece expanding on our findings.

Table 1 

E-Verify Mandate Dates
   

Alabama


Arizona


Mississippi


South Carolina


4/1/2012


1/1/2008


7/1/2011


7/1/2010



New data has been released since we sent the policy analysis to the printer, confirming that businesses are continuing to ignore E-Verify in states where it is mandated.  Table 2 shows the percentage of all new hires in each state that are actually run through E-Verify, beginning with the data the mandates became law.  If the law was followed perfectly then those numbers should all be 100 percent but they have all levelled off way below that.  Slightly more than half of all new hires in states with mandatory E-Verify are actually run through the system in those four states.

Table 2

E-Verify Compliance Rates


Year


Alabama


Arizona


Mississippi


South Carolina


2009

 

43.26%

   

2010

 

58.77%

   

2011

 

56.75%

 

73.00%


2012

 

56.52%


44.91%


97.02%


2013


55.22%


58.48%


48.81%


54.92%


2014


56.47%


57.76%


43.70%


54.17%

Sources: U.S. Census, Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics, DHS, Author’s Calculations.

If E-Verify is the enforcement tool immigration restrictionists want it to be, it’s going to have to start acting like it.