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Federal E-Verify and ICE Audits

September 10, 2018

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 required newly hired employees to present to their employers documents attesting their identity and right to work in the US. Most employers, who are not required to authenticate worker-presented documents, attach copies of the documents to completed I-9 forms.

USCIS operates the E-Verify system, which allows employers to check the data presented by newly hired workers via the internet. In over 98 percent of cases, employers receive a work-authorized confirmation within seconds.

All federal contractors must enroll in E-Verify, 13 states require public agencies and state contractors to enroll, and another nine states require all employers to enroll. The Ag and Legal Workforce Act (HR 6417) would require all US employers to enroll in E-Verify within two years of enactment, and offers a new guest worker program to encourage farm employers to support E-Verify.

As of June 30, 2018, there were 804,000 employer MOUs signed with E-Verify, and these enrolled employers had 2.6 million work sites that submitted data on 26.6 million hew hires in the first three quarters of FY18. The state with the most enrolled employers was Georgia, with almost 102,000 and 2.6 million submissions to E-Verify, followed by California and Texas, which each had fewer employers enrolled but similar 2.5 million submissions.

ICE audits the I-9 forms completed by employers, and can receive tips from USCIS about suspect employers. USCIS referred 103 cases to ICE in FY14, but only 87 in FY17.

USCIS E-Verify Data as of June 30, 2018

E-Verify Total Enrolled MOUs by State as of June 30, 2018
State Enrolled MOUs Hiring Sites FY2018 Cases Usage past 365 days Activity %
Alabama 49,043 90,501 666,553 13,795 28%
Alaska 1,138 5,403 20,538 433 38%
Arizona 55,645 130,910 922,214 16,896 30%
Arkansas 3,356 18,851 426,362 1,229 37%
California 63,019 230,696 2,582,445 18,560 29%
Colorado 15,227 54,782 634,675 4,836 32%
Connecticut 8,642 28,036 161,590 3,656 42%
Delaware 1,487 8,217 120,363 436 29%
Dist of Col 3,593 14,562 62,207 1,124 31%
Florida 44,165 175,771 1,601,314 14,088 32%
Georgia 101,667 186,058 2,645,081 23,299 23%
Guam 187 686 2,820 58 31%
Hawaii 1,860 8,640 35,218 614 33%
Idaho 2,196 20,474 89,522 751 34%
Illinois 18,089 78,166 881,429 6,125 34%
Indiana 14,313 55,974 699,760 5,481 38%
Iowa 3,802 20,543 173,062 1,528 40%
Kansas 6,324 24,670 306,723 2,120 34%
Kentucky 4,680 27,903 297,731 1,655 35%
Louisiana 9,362 39,903 320,896 3,346 36%
Maine 1,097 7,117 35,274 400 36%
Maryland 11,656 49,191 745,136 3,754 32%
Massachusetts 11,105 47,860 470,683 4,226 38%
Michigan 12,326 54,238 772,324 4,804 39%
Minnesota 8,638 34,219 559,439 3,221 37%
Mississippi 10,431 43,194 295,424 3,760 36%
Missouri 48,089 89,208 705,345 12,576 26%
Montana 1,138 6,124 28,170 385 34%
Nebraska 7,793 19,641 230,368 2,983 38%
Nevada 5,057 20,341 168,675 1,492 30%
New Hampshire 1,721 8,632 50,601 704 41%
New Jersey 14,359 52,867 501,000 4,630 32%
New Mexico 2,965 15,074 75,553 975 33%
New York 23,871 95,771 1,120,402 7,500 31%
North Carolina 26,964 97,552 1,408,778 12,465 46%
North Dakota 1,070 7,086 40,138 445 42%
Northern Marianas 19 572 16 2 11%
Ohio 11,777 74,393 1,164,123 4,385 37%
Oklahoma 7,287 27,871 255,543 2,557 35%
Oregon 5,945 28,178 207,674 1,918 32%
Pennsylvania 16,095 77,885 974,571 6,166 38%
Puerto Rico 766 3,518 40,310 256 33%
Rhode Island 2,939 8,768 112,361 478 16%
South Carolina 49,279 96,332 683,668 21,132 43%
South Dakota 1,078 5,618 33,268 422 39%
Tennessee 16,570 69,926 1,185,876 7,627 46%
Texas 45,457 189,139 2,448,465 15,367 34%
Utah 11,103 30,866 445,422 4,127 37%
Vermont 544 3,757 10,154 182 33%
Virgin Islands 75 588 621 12 16%
Virginia 18,748 68,834 792,082 6,912 37%
Washington 12,182 47,019 827,435 3,874 32%
West Virginia 1,126 10,133 37,992 426 38%
Wisconsin 5,903 31,541 489,406 2,343 40%
Wyoming 947 4,998 19,144 314 33%
Total 803,915 2,648,797 29,585,944 262,850  
Source: https://www.e-verify.gov/about-e-verify/e-verify-data/e-verify-usage-statistics

Most USCIS E-Verify Checks involve Email or Phone Calls