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Another 13,000 letters and over 26,000 emails were sent to employers in Fiscal Year 2011.Additionally, another 23,000 e-mails were sent in the first half of Fiscal Year 2012, alone. E-Verify is closely linked to Form I-9, but participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most employers.

The Internet-based program is free and maintained by the United States government.Some states have passed legislation making it mandatory for certain businesses, other states require all employers use E-Verify. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States.E-Verify compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from U. If there is a mismatch, E-Verify alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem; they must contact the appropriate agency to resolve the mismatch within eight federal government work days from the referral date.Last week, the DHS sponsored a “listening session” held live in Washington, DC, which covered various topics including the Form I-9, E-Verify FAR changes, and the new E-Verify “self-check” initiative which will be coming out at the end of the year.Here is a quick synopsis of the major points discussed, including our analysis.

E-Verify was originally established in 1997 as the Basic Pilot Program to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining employment illegally in the United States.

In August 2007, DHS secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez announced several steps to expand employment eligibility verification.

According to DHS, in 2011 a random sample of E-Verify users was surveyed on satisfaction with the program.

DHS called the results "outstanding" noting that E-Verify received an overall customer satisfaction rating of 85, which is "based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the national indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services available to U. residents." DHS notes that E-Verify’s score of 85 is a three-point increase from the 2010 survey and that E-Verify is "a trailblazer when compared to its federal government counterparts" because "E-Verify’s score is 20 points above the current federal government average." The others were discontinued.

In the two years since ICE finalized the regulations for electronically storing and/or generating I-9 records there has also been a steady increase in the number of administrative I-9 audits – where employers are asked to deliver their I-9 records to ICE within 72 hours for inspection.

The USCIS Verification Division reported that over 16,000 E-Verify compliance letters were issued in Fiscal Year 2010.