Thursday, March 05, 2009

Struggle continues to retain E-Verify program

While immigration advocates and groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce work to kill the E-Verify program, the Department of Homeland Security and its Citizenship & Immigration Services have introduced a new E-Verify program that will help make sure that foreign-born citizens eligible to work in the U.S. will not be denied a job because of mismatches.

E-Verify checks employee Social Security numbers against a database to determine whether new hires have proper documentation to work in the United States.

Critics of the program claimed that foreign-born citizens were more likely to receive mismatches, or Tentative Non-confirmations (TNC), when applying for jobs as opposed to U.S.-born citizens.

Though it is funded through the federal fiscal year, which expires September 30, the authorization for E-Verify is scheduled to expire March 6. The House has voted to approve a spending bill which extends the program's authorization by six months. The president's budget proposal sets aside $110 million to expand the program, and in an accompanying statement, the White House said that E-Verify “helps U.S. employers comply with immigration law and ensures that U.S. jobs are available to U.S. citizens and those authorized to work in the United States."

Officials say Homeland Security’s new E-Verify program is already reducing the number of mismatches among foreign-born citizens since it was implemented last month.

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