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Digital Enforcement

Effects of E-Verify on Unauthorized Immigrant Employment and Population

E-Verify is a federal system that since 2003 has allowed employers across the country to digitally check eligibility documents provided by the workers they hire. The system is intended to deter the hiring of unauthorized immigrants. E-Verify mandates were in effect in 21 states as of December 2016. This report studies the effects of E-Verify in the seven states where E-Verify has been mandatory for all or almost all employers: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Utah, North Carolina and South Carolina. It assesses the impact of universal E-Verify mandates on the number of likely unauthorized workers and the unauthorized population. In five of the seven states, the number of likely unauthorized immigrants and/or the number of likely unauthorized immigrant workers is substantially lower than the projected counterfactual, suggesting that universal E-Verify led to a much smaller unauthorized immigrant population and workforce than if the policy had not been enacted.

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