Evaluating E-Verify

The Challenge 

The federal government’s widely used E-Verify program enables employers to determine a new employee’s eligibility to work in the United States by comparing employee-provided information to federal government records.

E-Verify is currently a voluntary program for most employers, but some states and local jurisdictions require its use. The federal government also requires its use for some federal contractors.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asked Westat, which has conducted this survey every 2 years since 2008, to conduct the latest evaluation to find out to what extent E-Verify is meeting its goals of

  • Reducing unauthorized employment
  • Safeguarding workers against verification-related discrimination
  • Protecting workers’ rights to privacy
  • Preventing undue burden to employers


Our Solutions 

  • Westat conducted a survey of 3,700 employers enrolled in E-Verify to determine how well they understood and complied with the program requirements and how satisfied they were with the program.
  • Westat analyzed large amounts of data (35 million cases) to determine the accuracy of E-Verify findings.
  • We conducted periodic case studies of employers and their workers who were not immediately authorized to work to understand more about program compliance from the perspective of both employers and workers.
  • We assessed the effectiveness of different E-Verify communication and outreach methods, including
    • Conducting a customer satisfaction survey of participants in E-Verify webinars
    • Conducting usability testing of the E-Verify public website
  • To analyze data collected from the E-Verify user survey, we used WesVar for complex survey sampling and estimation procedures.

The Results 

  • In response to our findings and recommendations, USCIS
    • Revised the E-Verify portal for E-Verify employers so it’s more user friendly
    • Enhanced the Photo Matching tool to increase program accuracy
    • Added more federal databases for checking employee-provided data
    • Made changes to its webinars and public website
    • Is developing a review process for employees who disagree with a final E-Verify finding

Our Client 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)