Jun 01 2007

Immigration Fact Sheet: Holding Employers Accountable for Workers They Hire

Three Key Points on Worksite Enforcement Provisions

  1. To crack down on the hiring of illegal workers, the immigration reform bill sets up an Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) to help employers verify the status of the workers they hire.
  2. Employers will be required to verify the work eligibility of all employees using EEVS and all workers will be required to present stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents.
  3. The legislation imposes stiff new Criminal and Civil penalties on employers who hire illegal workers.

EEVS will Help Employers follow the law and hold Employers who hire Illegal Workers Accountable

  • Under the legislation, a reliable Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) must be established and in use before any temporary worker or V-visas are issued.
  • All employers will be required to use EEVS to verify their employee’s work eligibility.
  • EEVS will be founded on unprecedented sharing of information across numerous electronic databases.  These include:
Social Security Administration records;
State Department passport and visa records (including photographs);

Birth and death records maintained by State Vital Statistics agencies; and

State driver’s license information.
  • For the first time, EEVS will allow employers to verify the authenticity of documents by providing access to identification photographs in government databases.


EEVS Will Build Upon the Current Basic Pilot Model

  • Under the Immigration Reform Bill ALL U.S. Employers will be required to use EEVS to verify their Employees' work eligibility.  Under the current system, only a small percentage of U.S. employers participate in Basic Pilot, the voluntary program established to help employers determine the legal status of new hires.  Under the bill, all U.S. employers will be required to check new hires using EEVS after an initial 18-month phase-in.  Within three years, employers must use EEVS to verify the work eligibility of all employees not previously verified through the system. 


  • EEVS will require workers to present a limited range of secure Government-Issued or Government-Authorized IDs, which will be checked electronically against Federal and State Databases.  EEVS allows for only a limited range of stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents including: 


U.S. Passport issued by the State Department.

 Document issued by DHS or the State Department containing photo, biometrics, other such personal identifying info needed to ensure identity (for non-citizens).

 State-issued, REAL ID Act-compliant license presented along with a Social Security card.

 For a limited period before implementation of the REAL ID Act, a State-issued license with a photograph that can be verified by DHS, presented along with a birth certificate and Social Security card.


  • EEVS will allow Employers to access identification photographs in government databases to verify the authenticity of workers' documents.  In addition to the checks against Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases now performed under Basic Pilot, EEVS will link to the U.S. Department of State and Departments of Motor Vehicles in individuals States to confirm issuance of identity documents and provide employers with the digital photograph associated with these documents.