Rhode Island State Representatives Doreen Costa and Peter Palumbo , have been introduced a bill in the Rhode Island General Assembly to restore and expand the E-Verify program that allows employers to check an applicant’s work authorization status online. Costa’s bill would require all
non-governmental employers with at least three employees to participate in E-Verify.
E-Verify was originally implemented in 2009 by an Executive Order from then-Governor Don Carcieri. It required all businesses doing business with the State of Rhode Island to utilize E-Verify for its new hires. In 2011, the Executive Order was rescinded by current Governor Lincoln Chafee.
A number of states already require all employers or those which contract with state government to utilize E-Verify, although none are in the New England states. The only Northeastern state to require E-Verify is Pennsylvania.
Representative Costa said she had more than 20 representatives supporting the legislation, but she acknowledged she likely faces an uphill battle. The Rhode Island House of Representatives has 75 members.
With less than 25% of the State Reps supporting the bill and the Governor opposed to it, E-Verify is highly unlikely to become law in Rhode Island.