E-Verify: what it is, what it isn't

February 10, 2012

CNMI foreign contract workers can now check their employment status on-line. The e-verify system by the USCIS covers all states and territories. I would urge all foreign workers to go to the E-verify site, now, not just to check your status, but to learn your rights. For instance, your employer cannot make you check your E-Verify status.  Likewise, the Social Security Office or any other CNMI or federal agency cannot make you check E-verify to prove your status. From the USCIS website (emphasis added):
No one can require you to use Self Check to guarantee your work authorization. For example, it is unlawful for a current or potential employer to require you to provide them with proof of your positive Self Check result in order to keep, accept or be offered a job.

If an employer or potential employer asks you to run a Self Check query to prove that you are authorized to work in the United States, you should notify the Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at (800) 255-7688.

Additionally, a positive Self Check result should not be a condition of membership into any group or organization, and is not to be required for receipt of any benefit, service, or good from a Federal, state or local agency or a private party.

Receiving a Notice of a mismatch in your SSA or DHS records does not necessarily mean that you do not have work authorized status. Your mismatch will not be reported except as required by law.

For more information about your rights in the Self Check program, please look in the Questions and Answers section of this website.

If your employer uses E-Verify, you should learn your rights as an employee. For more information on your rights, please view the E-Verify Employee Rights and Responsibilities page on the E-Verify site.
Some Myths and Facts bout E-Verify:
MYTH: Self Check is only for noncitizens and immigrants
Fact: Self Check is useful for anyone in the US workforce over the age of 16 because it provides transparency into your government employment eligibility records. If you are hired by a company that uses the E-Verify program, your employer will run your information through E-Verify. An information mismatch can exist regardless of whether you are a citizen or noncitizen. Use Self Check to gain the peace of mind that your government records are up to date. 
MYTH: If Self Check issues a mismatch indicating there may be a problem with my record, my information is turned over to law enforcement agencies for follow up
Fact: The information about your mismatch is not shared with law enforcement agencies. Self Check is solely a tool for you to check your work eligibility and be proactive in ensuring your government records are up to date. 
MYTH: I can print my positive Self Check response as proof of my eligibility to work in the United States.
Fact: Your work eligibility response from Self Check is not a credential you can use to prove you are eligible to work and companies are prohibited from accepting it as such. The work eligibility response is informational and indicates that you will likely receive the same response if an employer runs you through E-Verify. 

MYTH: If I live in a state where the law requires companies to use E-Verify, I am required to use Self Check.
Fact: You are NEVER required to use Self Check. State laws mandating the use of E-Verify do not apply to Self Check. These laws vary by state and apply only to employers and their hiring practices. If you are hired by a company in a state that mandates the use of E-Verify, your employer will likely run your information through the E-Verify program. Self Check can give you the peace of mind that your government records are as you expect. 
MYTH: A private organization is allowed to require proof of a positive Self Check result when evaluating potential new members.
Fact: No one may EVER require you to use Self Check. A positive Self Check result should not be a condition of membership to any group or organization and is not to be required for receipt of any benefit, service or good from a federal, state, or local agency OR any private organization.
News Release Feb. 9, 2012

USCIS Announces Expansion of E-Verify Self Check
Online Tool Now Available Throughout the United States
ORLANDO, Fla.—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that Self Check, a free online service of E-Verify that allows workers to check their own employment eligibility status, is now available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. Launched in March 2011 by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, today’s announcement delivers on the goal of expanding Self Check nationally within one year.

“We are pleased to complete, ahead of schedule, our expansion of this important tool for employees,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas during a press conference at the agency’s field office in Orlando, Fla. “Since our initial launch in March, approximately 67,000 people have used Self Check and we anticipate that participation will dramatically increase with service now available to individuals across the country.”

Self Check was developed through a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide individuals a tool to check their own employment eligibility status, as well as guidance on how to correct their DHS and SSA records. It is the first online E-Verify service offered directly to workers. Available in English and Spanish, Self Check enables individuals to enter the same information into Self Check that employers enter into E-Verify.
Since the program’s inception, thousands of individuals have used Self Check, available in English and Spanish, to access their federal employment eligibility records and for guidance on how to correct potential record discrepancies prior to the hiring process.

In August 2011, Self Check became a bi-lingual service available to users in both English and Spanish, broadening the scope of the program to members of our U.S. workforce who are more comfortable reading Spanish-language materials.

For more information on Self Check, please visit www.uscis.gov/selfcheck. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov to receive email updates or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.


Anonymous said...

It seems that this site, contrary to what has been published, is not available in most areas, including Florida and the territories.. (by what is stated upon actually opening and trying to use "self Check" (from the link provided)