E-Verify Closer to Reauthorization

On July 31, 2008, the House of Representatives passed a five-year reauthorization of the E-Verify program.  E-Verify, formerly known as the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program, is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

This system allows participating employers to electronically
verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.  The program, which is due to expire at the end of November, has recently been subject to controversy, as an increasing number of states have incorporated the program into legislation designed to halt the hiring of undocumented workers.

The bill includes a provision intended to ensure the Department of Homeland Security provides timely reimbursements to the Social Security Administration for use of the SSA’s resources.  The bill also authorizes the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct two studies of the E-Verify system – one examining the causes and effects of errors in the program, and a second studying the experiences that small businesses, nonprofit organizations and municipalities have using the program.  The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.
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