In his administration’s budget that it has sent to the White House, the Trump administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget calls for mandating nationwide usage of the E-Verify system to reduce illegal employment. The system which is internet based, is currently voluntary except for those businesses that have government contracts. It compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from DHS, the Social Security Administration, and State Department of Motor Vehicle records to confirm employment eligibility.
The budget for the Department of Homeland Security is $44.1 billion and in it the administration is calling for the expansion of “worksite enforcement strategies by mandating nationwide use of the E-Verify system.”
The Homeland Security FY 2018 Budget in Brief which can be accessed here, says in the overview section that the purpose of expanding E-Verify is “to support mandatory use of E-Verify nationwide within three years.”
In anticipation of the Trump move, Mark Schwartz of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Chief Information Office, was quoted by a section of the media as saying they are “streamlining the (E-Verify) process and making it capable of scaling if we bring more employers” into the system. The system which is free to employers to use has 646,000 users.
$131.5 million of the $44.1 billion Homeland Security budget will go towards the E-Verify expansion.
However in a recent blog post on the CATO Institute’s website, Alex Nowrasteh, said mandating a nationwide use of E-Verify would cost the federal government $635 million from 2018 to 2023. Quoting the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers Nowrasteh said “It would additionally impose $10 million in annual costs on state and local governments, as well as a minimum $200 million in costs to the private sector as employers struggle to verify millions of employees.”