End Campus-wide E-Verify at Northwestern Now

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We the undersigned are petitioning Northwestern University to end its voluntary use of the E-Verify program. We echo recent student requests made to Northwestern’s President and Provost. (Timeline of E-Verify at NU.)

We believe that the use of E-Verify for all employees needlessly puts members of the Northwestern community at risk. NU has acknowledged that absent any legal requirement it is obligating thousands of its employees to enroll, including all student research assistants.

E-Verify is a program run by a component of the Department of Homeland Security. E-Verify uses employers to collect data on as many people as possible. According to the ACLU and even a professional association of university attorneys, E-Verify exposes Northwestern University (NU) employees to unnecessary burdens and risks, including delays in employment, improper use, and data-mining. E-Verify also exposes students who have DACA status to heightened risks of monitoring and deportation, despite NU's avowed commitment to DACA students.

NU is an outlier.  Peer institutions in Illinois and nationwide are not using E-Verify except as obligated by state law or federal contracts.  See, for instance, this University of Chicago explanation.  The vast majority of firms do not use E-Verify and business and libertarian groups also oppose it.

Ending the campus-wide program will halt the release of new employee information to Homeland Security. Because there is no legal obligation to use E-Verify except in the small number of cases in which it is federally obligated, and in order to protect Northwestern community members, we urge President Morton Schapiro and Provost Jonathan Holloway to end the use of E-Verify. 


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