On Mar 01 2009

DHS Directive Includes Analysis of E-Verify; USCIS Adds Passport Data in E-Verify Process for Foreign-Born Citizens

On January 30, 2009, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a wide-ranging action directive on immigration and border security. The directive requires specific DHS programs to work with state and local partners to report on the E-Verify system, legal immigration benefit backlogs, and other concerns.

Some of the questions the directive asks about E-Verify include, “What is the status of the employer monitoring and compliance efforts of the E-Verify system? How can DHS expand such monitoring, including alternative strategies such as electronic detection of suspicious patterns, with an indication of resource requirements? What strategies are available to minimize false negatives? What steps and resources are needed to secure a systematic and detailed study of the origin, prevalence, and types of erroneous non-confirmations, including measuring the rate of correct non-confirmations, and how much time would be required for such a study?”

Additionally, last month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) incorporated Department of State passport data into the E-Verify program. USCIS explains that this enhancement is intended to reduce the incidences of mismatches among foreign-born citizens. A September 2007 E-Verify program evaluation found that foreign-born citizens were more likely to receive mismatches, known as Tentative Non-confirmations (TNCs), than U.S.-born citizens.

Passport data inclusion builds upon previous initiatives aimed at reducing TNCs for foreign-born U.S. citizens. In May 2008, USCIS implemented a system-based and data-source enhancement to address mismatches. This enhancement reduced E-Verify U.S. citizenship-related mismatches (TNCs) by approximately 39% by adding an automated check against USCIS naturalization databases for all newly hired employees claiming U.S. citizenship who were not automatically employment authorized during the SSA check. Additionally, foreign-born U.S. citizens who ultimately receive TNCs may now call USCIS directly rather than visiting an SSA office to resolve their cases.