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USCIS to allow workers to self check their status through E-Verify

There has been much debate over the federal electronic employment verification program known as E-Verify. Miami employment verification lawyers know that various measures have been debated in Tallahassee regarding whether the state will make use of E-Verify mandatory for private businesses. The department of Homeland Security has announced a pilot project that is intended to reduce bureaucratic mix-ups in the E-Verify system.

Roughly 250,000 companies across the country currently use E-Verify to ensure new hires are not in the country illegally and therefore ineligible to work. Based upon complaints from immigrant advocates, the federal government has authorized a new system for prospective workers to log-on to an E-Verify Self-Check system to learn of any potential problems that could cause the system to incorrectly flag the worker as illegal.

The self-check system has gone online in five states and the District of Columbia. Self Check is not yet available in Florida. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans on expanding the program nationwide over the next twelve months. Prospective workers who find an error using the E-Verify Self Check are allowed eight days to resolve problems with the E-Verify system.

USCIS officials expect between 850,000 to 1 million queries though the E-Verify Self Check system over the next 12 months. Immigration officials believe that number will grow to 8 million users per year after the system has been made available nationwide.

The Government Accountability Office says that the number of people whose immigration status cannot be validated through the use of the E-Verify system was 2.6 percent in 2009. Between 2004 and 2007, the GAO says the number was as high as 8 percent.

Source: Bloomberg, "U.S. to Let Workers Check Their Immigration Status Online," Jeff Bliss 21 Mar 2011

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