E-Verify fails to detect one out of two illegal workers whose employment authorizations are screened
The Department of Homeland Security's controversial and much-touted E-Verify program might be failing to detect one out of two illegal workers whose employment authorizations are screened, outside consultants have told the agency.
Tens of thousands of companies participate in E-Verify, either voluntarily or as a condition of doing business with the government.
The Internet-based program checks information provided by new hires against Social Security Administration and Homeland Security databases to confirm they are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the country.
An evaluation of E-Verify carried out for DHS by research group Westat found the program couldn't confirm whether information workers were presenting was their own, and, as a result, "many unauthorized workers obtain employment by committing identity fraud that cannot be detected by E-Verify," Westat told the department. Westat put the "inaccuracy rate for unauthorized workers" at about 54%.
E-Verify has previously faced criticism for failing to authorize individuals who are permitted to work in the U.S.
E-Verify was stepped up under former President George W. Bush, and the administration of President Barack Obama has maintained support for the program, taking a tough immigration-enforcement stance designed in part to win support for a broader campaign to create a path to legal residency and citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.