E-Verify is an Internet-based system run by the U.S. government that is used to check the immigration status of workers. In the last week, E-Verify posters have been posted at a non-union Hyatt property in Santa Clara, CA, causing concern among long-term immigrant workers at this hotel. The U.S. Department of Justice says that “E-Verify should generally only be used at the time of hire” and that “Employers can’t . . . use E-Verify for reverification.” Here’s what Hyatt workers are reporting:
My name is Maritza Wong and I have worked at the Hyatt Santa Clara hotel as an on-call banquet server for 5 years. On Holy Week, I saw that Hyatt had put up the e-verify poster by the employee entrance. To my knowledge, e-verify should only be used for new employees. I don’t know what Hyatt’s intention was when they put up the E-Verify posters. When I asked the HR Director if I needed to bring in my papers, he said I didn’t have to and that only people with expired documents needed to do that. To this day, my husband and I have not been asked to re-verify our immigration documents. I worry about my co-workers. What will Hyatt do?
What I do know is that my co-workers and I work hard. We work to take care of our families. At Hyatt Santa Clara, the majority of my co-workers came from Mexico or the Philippines. My husband and I both work at the Hyatt Santa Clara and we emigrated from Peru over 20 years ago to strive for a better life.
As an immigrant, a worker and a mother, I ask the community for your support. The immigrants are the backbone to Hyatt’s economic success.
When I arrived to work on Wednesday, April 4th, I saw an English and Spanish e-verify poster that said This Employer participates in E-verify.”
I couldn’t believe that this was happening at my hotel. It made me mad to hear this was going on. I have been working at the Hyatt in Santa Clara for over 15 years as a room service waiter and had never witnessed or experienced anything like this.
My co-workers and I are confused and scared. This is why I stand in solidarity with my co-workers. Aside from being mad, I am sad that Hyatt’s latest action at Hyatt Santa Clara could hurt working families.