Save Your E-Verify Records Before They Are Deleted

 

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer November 13, 2019
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​As of Jan. 2, 2020, employers won't have access to E-Verify records that were created on or before Dec. 31, 2009.

As of 2014, each year the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system deletes data that is more than 10 years old, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

USCIS has created a Historic Records Report that users can download and save for archival purposes. The report contains information about each E-Verify case that will be purged. Employers have until Dec. 31, 2019, to download case information from the Historic Records Report if they want to retain information about these E-Verify cases.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Complying with I-9 and E-Verify Requirements]

The data purge is being conducted to comply with the National Archives and Records Administration's retention and disposal schedule to minimize security and privacy risks associated with retaining personally identifiable information.

Employers should take measures to archive their data, said Kevin Lashus, an attorney with FisherBroyles in Austin, Texas.

USCIS recommends that employers annotate Forms I-9 with the E-Verify case verification number and retain the Historic Records Report with the corresponding forms. The agency itself will retain E-Verify records associated with any current ongoing investigations.

An employer that must undergo an I-9 audit or that finds itself under investigation in the future "can claim as an affirmative defense that it successfully received a 'work authorized' result for a new hire who is now identified as unauthorized," Lashus said. "Once USCIS has disposed of the E-Verify records, the employer has only its own archives to support its defense."

Employers should consider seeking guidance from counsel on downloading the Historic Records Report from E-Verify and should plan on doing so at the end of each calendar year, he said.

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