SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, D-Chicago, is fighting to strengthen the rights of workers by introducing legislation that brings greater transparency and efficiency to the work eligibility verification process known as E-Verify.
“E-Verify can be an important tool for employers to make the decisions that affect their future, but it can also be misused to threaten the livelihoods of hardworking immigrant workers,” Delgado said. “Immigrants and those new to the workforce often face confusing and overly complicated application processes that result in documentation issues. Often, this can lead to serious consequences for themselves and their families. We want to make sure that E-Verify is used in an honest, upfront and transparent way.”
Delgado’s Senate Bill 508 requires employers who use the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department’s E-Verify system to check the work authorization status of a new hire must provide notice and any support in correcting potential errors. Comparing submitted I-9 forms with Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Agency document, E-Verify is used to confirm if someone is authorized to work in the United States.
Delgado’s bill would require greater communication and cooperation if there’s a problem and a known solution, if the federal government notifies an employer of an error or that they are conducting an I-9 investigation of their company or if an agency has any updates to an employment case. Under current law, if there are any mismatched documents, the employee must go directly to the government agency in charge of their paperwork, without the opportunity to correct them with their employer beforehand. Furthermore, there are little to no current restrictions on how far employers can take the use of E-Verify in their workplace.
“Employees are more than just a line item on an expense report, they’re mothers, fathers and pillars of their community. They should be treated as such if simple and fixable errors with their documentation arise,” Delgado said. “When states across the country are using E-Verify as a blunt instrument to discourage immigrants from participating in their own future, Illinois needs to chart a better path forward.”
For more information on Senate Bill 508, visit ilga.gov here.