• Attempt to Eliminate Unauthorized Workers through E-Verify Thwarted by Identity Theft
  • March 22, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tampa Office
  • Recently the immigration service released an evaluation conducted by the outside research firm, Westat, on the accuracy of the federal employment authorization program, E-Verify. E-Verify, administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services in partnership with the Social Security Administration, is a free, voluntary, web-based program allowing employers to verify that their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The report found that 54% of the unauthorized workers run through E-Verify result in an authorization to work because many undocumented workers obtain employment by committing identity fraud that cannot be detected by the system. So the system only detected unauthorized workers about half of the time.

    E-Verify did correctly identify legal workers 93.1 percent of the time and illegal workers 2.9 percent of the time. However, 0.7% of all E-Verify cases involved authorized workers who were not initially found to be authorized to work and most notably, 3.3% of all E-Verify cases involved unauthorized workers who were found to be employment authorized. In other words, out of the 6.2% in which the workers were not authorized to work, the system failed to discover the unauthorized worker and permitted work 54% of the time.

    If E-Verify were made mandatory for all employers, this high percentage of inaccurate initial response rate of all workers in the United States would mean that millions of workers could be affected by wrong answers.