January 10, 2019

No E-Verify During Government Shutdown

 |  By: Mike Opperman

The shutdown of the Federal Government has impacted federal agencies across the country. While the shutdown drags on, dairy producers have been left salivating over promises outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill and left waiting to sign up for the Market Facilitation Program.  

The E-Verify system is another casualty of the government shutdown. The electronic system used to authorize a person’s ability to work in the U.S. was closed shortly after the shutdown began, according to Jim Wiesemeyer, policy analyst with ProFarmer. The E-Verify website notes a “lapse in government appropriations” as the reason for the closure. 

What should producers do in the meantime? According to Wiesemeyer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Michael Bars says that the agency has taken several steps to minimize the burden on both employees and employers and recommends that employers continue to submit I-9 forms and verify those hired once the system is available. 

For dairy producers, not much has changed. "We have continued [the I-9 process] and have placed our new hires in a folder to be E-Verified once funding returns," says Matt Konz, human resources manager at Riverview Dairy, LLP. "Once E-Verify is running again we will run all of the hires through E-Verify and follow the results for each I-9 hire."