There are plenty of companies in the U.S. that use E-Verify and for good reason - the background verification system is highly effective at determining whether people are authorized to work in the U.S.
While E-Verify isn't mandatory in every state, it is certainly utilized by employers in a good many of them. Even where it is voluntary, the program is just as effective at determining whether someone's provided ID matches information in federal and state databases. Recently, U.S. Customs and Immigration services compiled data on just how many employers are taking advantage of E-Verify. USCIS tracked how many Memorandums of Understanding there are in each state. A MOU represents an agreement between the government and an employer regarding use of the program.
Georgia is the top state for E-Verify usage. In the Peach State there are 82,046 MOUs. While E-Verify isn't a requirement for all employers here, there is legislation mandating use of the program for some businesses, according to NumbersUSA, a proponent of lowering immigration levels. In Georgia, public employers, contractors and subcontractors must use the background verification program. For private companies, though, E-Verify is optional.
You'll have to head west a bit for the No. 2 state on the list. At 49,876 MOUs, Arizona falls far behind Georgia, which has the most by far. Though Arizona has just over half as many MOUs as Georgia, E--Verify is mandatory for all employers there.
Just behind Arizona is the Golden State with 48,700. This may come as a surprise to some observers, since California law actually limits E-Verify somewhat. State law prohibits municipalities from mandating use of the background check program, NumbersUSA explained.
Alabama is one of just two states in the top five that require all employers to use E-Verify. Companies that don't comply with the E-Verify mandate face suspension of their businesses' licenses as punishment. In the Cotton State, there are 43,944 MOUs.
In Missouri, there are state regulations concerning E-Verify, but all employers are not required to use the program. All public employers are required to use E-Verify. Punishments include business license suspension and disbarment from doing business in Missouri, according to NumbersUSA. Here, there are 41,159 MOUs.
The other states to round out the top 10 list are South Carolina, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and New York. However, the drop-off between Georgia and New York is steep. The Empire State has 17,174 MOUs. In New York, there are no laws dictating whether any sort of employer should use E-Verify.
E-Verify usage rates depending on state isn't the only statistic USCIS sought, though. The agency also determined which industries use the employment authorization verification system the most as well. They are:
- Professional, scientific and technical services.
- Specialty and trade contractors.
- Food services and drinking locations.
- Building construction.
- Social services.
The sector least likely to use E-Verify is information services. However, the industries listed above aren't the only ones to benefit from E-Verify. Many more also use the background verification program to determine whether new hires are eligible to work in the U.S. Employers can certainly use the E-Verify system to ensure their hiring practices are compliant.
Use of E-Verify offers more than just improved background verification capabilities, though. In addition, if an employer is accused of hiring noncompliance of some sort, E-Verify can illustrate good faith. This is one of the factors that often leads judges to lower fines proposed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Any indication of good faith, such as E-Verify use, can prove useful in case of a hiring noncompliance allegation.