FACT CHECK: Eric Trump Claims Amazon Doesn’t Use E-Verify For Most Of Its Employees

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and son of President Donald Trump, said in a tweet that Amazon does not use E-Verify, a government system that confirms whether people are authorized to work in the U.S., for most of its employees.

“It is shocking that aside from their corporate office, @Amazon doesn’t use E-Verify for their 600,000+ employees yet we are attacked by the @WashingtonPost for a few golf properties. Hypocrisy at its finest,” he tweeted Jan. 29.

Verdict: False

Amazon uses E-Verify to confirm work authorization for its over 300,000 employees in the U.S. Trump misinterpreted a list of E-Verify participating employers.

Fact Check:

Trump appeared to be responding to a Jan. 26 Washington Post article that reported that about a dozen Trump National Golf Club employees in Westchester County, New York, were fired because they were illegal immigrants. The article noted that the Trump golf club “does not appear in the government’s list of participants in the E-Verify system.”

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post. Amazon does not own the outlet, but President Trump often calls the paper the “Amazon Washington Post” and has suggested that it is a “lobbyist” for Amazon.

A search for Amazon.com in the federal government’s E-Verify system of participating employers reveals multiple results for the company: “Amazon.com Corporate LLC,” “Amazon.com LLC” and “Amazon.com, Inc. and its affiliates and subsidiaries.”

Trump attached a screenshot of the search results in his tweet as evidence that only the corporate office uses E-Verify. Only “Amazon.com Corporate LLC” is listed as an E-Verify employer agent.

E-Verify participating employer portal screenshot from Eric Trump’s tweet

However, Trump misinterpreted the “E-Verify employer agent” column in the employer portal results.

Companies can verify work eligibility through E-Verify themselves, or they can utilize an E-Verify employer agent – a person or entity that uses the system to confirm work eligibility. The E-Verify website states that employer agents may also handle other administrative duties for clients like employment paperwork.

Some companies that participate in E-Verify may outsource the verification process to an E-Verify employer agent for multiple reasons, including a lack of staff or to save time.

Amazon.com Corporate LLC is registered as an E-Verify employer agent, but that doesn’t mean that only Amazon’s corporate office utilizes E-Verify. Companies that have not registered to use E-Verify will not appear in the search results Trump cited. Thus, all of the Amazon companies listed in the portal have registered to use E-Verify.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), explained that the Amazon corporate office likely performs E-Verify checks for its subcontractors. CIS favors reduced immigration.

“Their corporate office is, in addition, an ’employer agent’, meaning it also does checks for other employers (I’d guess its subcontractors),” Kirkorian said in a tweet Jan. 30. He noted in a subsequent tweet that the Post does not use E-Verify.

Amazon says on its website that “the Amazon group of companies participates in E-Verify.” Amazon Public Policy responded to Trump’s tweet Jan. 30 and confirmed that its affiliates and subsidiaries use E-Verify for its 300,000-plus U.S. employees. “We process E-Verify cases through an E-Verify Employer Agent,” it said.

Trump deleted the tweet following Amazon Public Policy’s response.

Amazon reported that it had 647,500 full-time and part-time employees worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2018. That figure excludes contractors and temporary workers. Amazon increased its minimum wage in the U.S. to $15 per hour in November, benefiting more than 250,000 employees.

Trump said Jan. 29 that the Trump Organization plans to institute E-Verify at all of its properties.

“We are actively engaged in uniforming this process across our properties and will institute E-verify at any property not currently utilizing this system,’’ Trump said in a statement to The New York Times. “As a company we take this obligation very seriously and when faced with a situation in which an employee has presented false and fraudulent documentation, we will take appropriate action.”

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter