Does Florida require E-Verify?

No, not yet.  But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing the 2020 Florida legislature to pass legislation to require all Florida employers to use the federal E-Verify system.  If your company has a qualifying contract with the State of Florida, all new hires working on the contract must be screened using E-Verify.  Read Governor Scott’s Executive Order 11-02 from 2011.

What is E-Verify?  E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching the information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Florida would become the ninth state to mandate E-verify for new hires, joining Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina (25+ employees), Georgia (10+ employees), Utah (15+ employees), and Tennessee.

How many total employers use E-verify? In 2008, and every year after that, the share of employers using E-Verify has grown approximately 1 percentage point. In 2018, DHS had enrolled 821,771 employers in E-Verify—amounting to 13.5 percent of all employers in the United States (Figure 1).  So, 86.5 percent of U.S. employers still do not use E-Verify.  From 2005 to 2018, the number of annual E-Verify queries increased from less than a million to more than 36 million.  Read the statistics.

How many employees are rejected by E-Verify annually? From 2007 to 2018, the number of rejected new employees doubled from 173,409 to 351,836, but the number of final non-confirmations (FNCs) as a share of total queries dropped from 5.3 percent of queries to 1 percent (Figure 4). For context, it is estimated that unauthorized immigrants were 5.4 percent of the labor force in 2007 and 4.8 percent in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center.

Does E-verify reduce illegal worker hiring?  Interestingly, the rise of E-Verify enrolled employers and queries has not significantly reduced the number of illegal workers.  The Cato Institute estimated that from 2007 to 2016, the number of illegal workers hovered around 8 million, even though the number of E-Verify queries increased.  Although it can not be determined with certainty more than half of all illegal workers run through the E-verify system are not rejected, primarily by borrowing the identification of legal workers. Click to read more.

What are the benefits of becoming an E-Verify enrolled employer?

  • It may help your company avoid penalties for hiring illegal workers
  • It may lessen the probability that your company will receive “no match” letters from Social Security
  • It is evidence of good faith if your company is selected for an I9 audit
  • It is mandatory if your company hires foreign students with STEM F-1 visa during their 2-year optional practical training period.

If you are interested in enrolling in E-Verify, give our office a call.  We work with E-verify employers and federal contactors everyday.

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