USDHS Launches New Online Employment Verification System

September 27th, 2007

The US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) upgraded E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot), its internet-based system that helps employers screen for illegal workers while hiring.  According to the website Government Executive.com, approximately 23,000 employers nationwide participate in E-Verify, a voluntary employment eligibility verification program. Through the program, employers can check the immigration status of newly hired workers by matching the information they present against the databases of the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security.

All new hires must present identification and work authorization documentation to the employer through the I-9 process.  There is a list of acceptable documents on the Form I-9.  The upgraded E-Verify allows employers to compare photos on green cards and employment authorization documents with the photos in DHS’s database, which were stored when the documents were created. If the photos don’t match, it is probable that the documents are fraudulent.

The Illinois legislature recently prohibited employers from participating in the E-Verify program, claiming that verification takes too long and is too riddled with flaws, potentially causing employers to discriminate against employees.