Immigration Enforcement

DHS Touts Workforce Verification

by Mickey McCarter
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
ICE, USCIS showcase voluntary employee checks

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been improving its employment verification application, which already instantly clears most employees checked against it, by focusing on specific populations who have been experiencing problems with mismatched names and social security numbers in the system, DHS officials said in a press conference Tuesday.

For example, audits of the E-Verify system demonstrate improved rates after DHS addressed problems verifying naturalized US citizens, reported Gerri Ratliff, a deputy associate director at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

“We want to be able to instantly verify them,” Ratliff said. “As of May, we can do that in most instances as a result of adding the naturalization database information from USCIS databases. We continue to work to analyze pockets of folks who disproportionately we cannot verify but they can then take steps and show they are authorized to work.”

According to an analysis by research firm Westat, automatic verification of an individual’s work authorization status occurs 94.2 percent of the time with E-Verify. Of the remainder, 0.5 percent of those with an initial mismatch resolve it successfully, leaving 5.3 percent as unauthorized workers.

“By the way, 90 percent of mismatches are folks who choose not to contest their mismatch. So really, the system works,” Ratliff declared.

Ratliff discussed the statistics at a roundtable in Arlington, Va., held to highlight the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program, an effort to encourage companies to solicit an employee audit through ICE and to promote hiring authorized workers.

ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers announced Tuesday that IMAGE had grown to include 46 members, including companies such as General Dynamics, Taser, and Smithfield Foods. IMAGE provides a means for companies to proactively engage ICE to make certain they have a legal workforce.

“With Smithfield, for example, they approached us,” Myers explained. “We had no investigation with them at all; we knew nothing about any problems at their plants. We were able to work with them to ensure that we weren’t going to make any unannounced visits to their facilities. That’s the kind of thing that Smithfield finds is a real benefit. It’s also a benefit for us to have companies come forward so that we can work cooperatively with them to determine whether or not they have problems with their workforce and how to resolve them.”

Companies that have a clean history of hiring only authorized workers can become full members of IMAGE, while companies that have experienced problems can become associate members as a means of working toward a fully legal workforce, Myers added. She reported hearing stories of some companies turning to IMAGE-certified staffing firms to make certain they did not hire illegal immigrants.

All IMAGE companies agree to use E-Verify to authenticate the status of their employees.

Mickey McCarter
About the author:
eNewsletter Editor/Senior Washington Correspondent, is a journalist with more than a decade of experience in reporting on military affairs and information technology.
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September 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rhode Island illegal immigration order overdue

Terry Gorman [Executive Director, Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement]: “At a press conference on March 27,2008, Rhode Island Governor Carcieri issued an Executive Order to control rapidly escalating cost of illegal immigration in Rhode Island.

The Order requires the Executive Branch to register and use E-verify for all new hires, check the validity of Social Security numbers that are submitted and report anyone not legally present in the US. The Department of Administration shall require that all persons and businesses doing business with our state to register and use the E-verify program in order to acquire state contracts. It also requires the Rhode Island State Police, the Department of Corrections and the Parole Board to secure respective Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to train and work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


April 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

3,000 Ga. employers use system to deter illegal workers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/19/08

Mike Turner wants to make sure his company doesn’t hire people who can’t legally work in the United States.

The human resources manager for Terminix in the Southeast joined a group of about 20 employers and lawyers Tuesday at the downtown Westin Peachtree Plaza for a free seminar on the government’s E-Verify system.


March 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Miss. governor signs bill requiring checks on immigrants’ status

JACKSON – Mississippi’s Republican governor campaigned last year on minimizing government regulation of business, but he signed bill Monday that he said will require employers to use an unproven federal system to check immigrants’ status.

Haley Barbour said he has “serious concerns about specific provisions of the bill that could have unintended negative consequences.”

The bill becomes law Jan. 1. It will require employers to use the U.S. Homeland Security electronic verification system to check whether new hires are legal residents. Employers who hire illegal immigrants could lose their business license for a year and any state contract work for up to three years.

Any illegal immigrant found working in the state could face a one-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.


March 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Try E-Verify, Avoid the Fine for Hiring Illegal Aliens

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Parser is a member of the Labor and Employment Section and Immigration Practice Group of Ward and Smith, P.A.

With today’s complex immigration laws, all employers must be careful to avoid hiring illegal aliens. Employers no longer can rely on an alien’s presentation of an apparently authentic work authorization document. Employers now must make good faith efforts to verify the document and the alien’s social security number.

On January 1, 2008, the federal government’s new E Verify system became operational. This system is an internet-based application, operated jointly by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), and intended to provide employers with an easy way to verify both employment eligibility of newly hired employees and the legality of each employee’s social security number.

What Does E-Verify Actually Do?


March 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Arizona E-Verify sign-ups top 18,000

From OneOldVet:

Construction, hospitality, high-tech firms have the highest number of registrations

As the number of Arizona employers enrolled in E-Verify grows, a picture has emerged of the industries taking part the most in the federal worker-verification program.

Industries involved with construction, high-tech and hospitality are among those with the highest number of employers signed up for E-Verify. They also tend to be the industries with the most firms and employees, according to an Arizona Republic analysis.


February 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot Program) Fact Sheet


• E-Verify is a free and simple to use Web-based system that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. For more information on E-Verify, visit

• E-Verify is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the program.

E-Verify is a re-branding of its predecessor, the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program, which has been in existence since 1997. The Basic Pilot is being re-branded to highlight key enhancements in the program, including a new photo screening tool that helps employers to detect forged or faked immigration documents.

• E-Verify works by allowing participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper based employee eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 425 million records in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) database and more than 60 million records in DHS immigration databases. Results are returned within seconds.

E-Verify is the only official U.S. government source that provides employers in the United States with real-time data that takes the subjectivity out of verifying employment eligibility.

• The primary goals of the EEV program are to protect jobs, not lose jobs, for authorized U.S. workers and to ensure a legal workforce in the United States.

Currently, more than 19,000 employers are enrolled in E-Verify and 1000 new employers are signing up each month. The system is currently capable of handling up to 25 million inquiries a year.

• Through E-Verify, participating employers have successfully matched 92 percent of new hires to DHS and SSA database information. Of the remaining 8 percent that were not matched, less than one percent of those employees contested the result.


E-Verify’s new photo screening tool—to be launched by August 31, 2007— will be the beginning of biometric verification within the E-Verify system. This additional feature will be the first step in giving employers the tools they need to detect identify theft in the employment eligibility process.

• The photo tool screening feature will work by allowing an employer to check the photo on their new hire’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or Permanent Resident Card (green card) against the 14.8 million images stored in DHS immigration databases.

• The employer will be able to compare identical photos—one from the card presented to the employee to the card image in the USCIS database. The photo screening tool is designed to detect when a photo is superimposed on an authentic immigration identification card or when the document is counterfeit but contains valid information with a different photo.

The photo screening tool feature was piloted with a subset of E-Verify employers beginning in March 2007 and is scheduled to become a feature for all new and existing users of E-Verify by August 31, 2007.


• The photo screening feature is the answer to detecting some, but not all, forms of identity theft used in the employment eligibility verification process. E-Verify is constantly enhancing and improving its access to real time data by including more DHS databases in its system with the primary goal of driving down the mismatch rate.

Other key enhancements coming in the future include an option for employers to generate letters for their employees in Spanish and other languages, an E-Verify website that will have a mini-tutorial for employers considering enrolling, web-based resources for employees on their rights and responsibilities, and a marketing and advertising campaign to educate employers on the benefits of E-Verify.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet; August 9, 2007

Related items:
Making the E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot Program) Work for Your Business

– How to Start Using the E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot Program)
Federal “Basic Pilot” Verification Program is an Effective and Business-friendly Tool
– Who’s A Legal Employee?

– Introduction to the IMAGE program
– IMAGE Program FAQ
Simple Policy Change Helps Businesses Avoid Illegal-Alien Embarrassment
View Smart Businesses in your area that use the E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot Program)
– Questions and Answers about the E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot Program)


January 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment