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E-Verify is Not Available During Government Shutdown

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2013 | Publications & Presentations

I. WHY IS E-VERIFY NOT WORKING? (For the full article, contact Julie Pace, David Selden or Heidi Nunn-Gilman of The Cavanagh Law Firm.) The E-Verify Program is currently out of service due to the Federal Government shutdown that began on October 1, 2013. The government functions that will remain operational during the shutdown are those: 1. Funded from sources other than annual appropriated funds from Congress; 2. Authorized by Congress to continue even without funding; 3. Necessary for the safety of human life or protection of property; or, 4. Necessary for the orderly cessation of other government functions. The E-Verify Program is administered by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (“USCIS”) and receives annual appropriations from Congress. E-Verify is not considered necessary for the safety of human life or protection of property. Therefore, E-Verify does not fall into one of the exempt categories and will remain non-operational during the Federal Government shutdown. II. CAN I HIRE WORKERS IF I AM ENROLLED IN E-VERIFY AND E-VERIFY IS NOT AVAILABLE? Yes, companies enrolled in E-Verify can hire workers even though E-Verify is not available. Just because the Government is shut down, it does not necessarily mean that companies are shut down. Companies can hire and follow reasonable and lawful hiring processes. For example, although the E-Verify Program is not available, the traditional Form I-9 process continues as usual. All new hires must complete a Form I-9, regardless of the Government shutdown. Companies should ensure that they are using the most recent version of the new two-page Form I-9 that was released in March 2013 and became mandatory in May 2013.