Stolen Identities Often Slip Through E-Verify

May 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

While an independent evaluation of the E-Verify program revealed several positive aspects of the federal government’s electronic employment verification system, the consultant’s report also showed that unauthorized workers using others’ identities are often cleared to work by E-Verify. 

 The evaluation found that during a two-month period in 2008, nearly 94 percent of the employment verifications run through E-Verify were identified correctly as eligible for employment in the United States. The study found that the remaining 6 percent did not have proper work authorization and that over half of those were still granted work authorization through the system.

 The researcher found that E-Verify cleared nearly 54 percent of the non-eligible workers by concluding incorrectly that they had proper work authorization. The report found that the unauthorized workers passed the E-Verify checks because they had used fraudulent or stolen identities. The study’s findings appear to support the claims of several employment groups that have criticized E-Verify as being particularly vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.

 A spokesperson for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told reporters that the agency was working to improve E-Verify, including adding more databases and a photo-screening tool.

 The report concluded that improving the system’s ability to detect identity fraud should be a top priority of the USCIS.

 The focus needs to be on reducing the rate of false negatives (the rate of unauthorized aliens being granted work authorization through E-Verify) that are approved through the system. By addressing the issue of false negatives, then officials with the USCIS can get a better picture of how identity fraud and theft is being used to beat the system.

 Excerpted from HR Magazine, April 2010

Entry filed under: Human Resources (HR). Tags: , .

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