A report titled "The Practices and Opinion of Employers Who Do Not Participate in E-Verify" by Westat has been concluded and submitted to DHS in December 2010. The report studies why employers are not participating in E-Verify, what employers want from it, and what employers thoughts are on a mandatory program.
The report details that while past users have been highly satisfied with E-Verify, as of 2009, only less than 3% of employers participated in E-Verify. The report presents the results of a nationwide survey of 511 employers who were non-users. Due to the low number of survey respondents, the study was supplemented by a focus group discussion by non-users.
Employers became aware of E-Verify through nongovernmental sources. However, 63% of employers were not aware of the program, which was the leading cause for their not participating in it. Of those who answered questions about their future plans, 23% said they planned to participate in E-Verify while 32% said they would not do so unless mandated.
The other primary reason for not participating in E-Verify was that employers did not perceive any benefits from doing so. In addition, those employers felt it would be too costly or too time-consuming to participate.
Case study participants wanted to see changes such as the ability for technology to assist in identifying fraudulent documents and identity verification. They would also like the system to allow formal appeals by employers and employees and that it should allow verification of job applicants before a job decision is made. Most participants did not want E-Verify to become a mandatory program.
Westat made recommendations in the study to increase awareness building of E-Verify through various sources and acknowledged that in order to get employers to use E-Verify it would most likely have to be mandated. If not, the government would need to address some of the priorities of employers, ensuring such a system would not pose a burden to employers and that it is cost effective. The Westat report concludes that in order to get all employers to participate, E-Verify would need to be made mandatory, however, that would be burdensome for employers, especially small businesses.