By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Even though President Trump has been a vocal advocate of the mandatory use of E-Verify, amazingly (lol), most of his companies do not use E-Verify. The issue of the use of E-Verify at Trump companies has arisen because workers at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York have spoken out about the Club hiring numerous undocumented workers over the past 10 to 20 years and recently, after they spoke out, 12 Trump club employees were discharged for lacking proper work authorization. (Many of these fired workers have said the managers helped them obtain fraudulent paperwork or at least knew of their undocumented status. This will be covered in a later blog.)

“We are instituting E-Verify on all of our properties as soon as possible,” Eric Trump, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization and a son of the president, acknowledging that the company currently uses the program only at some locations. “We’re starting with the golf properties, and we are going to be doing all of them.” Eric Trump’s statement is in stark contrast to Candidate Trump’s statements in 2016 that Trump companies use E-Verify on “just about every job.”

Eric Trump said Trump properties did not previously enroll all of its 16 golf courses and 11 hotels in E-Verify because E-Verify is not required by law in most states, many competitors do not use it, and the system is not foolproof. (E-Verify may not be able to detect identity theft.) According to the E-Verify website identifying participating employers, E-Verify is used by four Trump properties – Trump Payroll in Chicago, and three golf courses in Los Angeles, Miami, and Charlotte, N.C. (North Carolina law requires employers with at least 25 employees to use E-Verify.)

Incredibly, Eric Trump blamed the 35-day government shutdown for delaying Trump properties from signing up for E-Verify. Even though it is true E-Verify could not be accessed during the shutdown, it has been available for years for the Trump properties to sign up.

Currently, only about 10% of employers are enrolled in E-Verify. Under federal law, use of E-Verify is voluntary unless you are a federal contractor. Eight states require all or almost all of its employers to use E-Verify: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. Other states require employers to use E-Verify if they are contracting with state government while many other states, such as New York, California, Texas, Illinois, and Michigan, do not require any employer to use of E-Verify.

If you want to know more information on issues related to employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at