The Department of Homeland Security’s much-touted E-Verify program might be failing to detect one out of two illegal workers whose employment authorizations are screened, says a consultant’s study reported by the Wall Street Journal. Tens of thousands of companies participate in E-Verify, either voluntarily or as a condition of doing business with the government.
The Internet-based program checks information provided by new hires against Social Security Administration and Homeland Security databases to confirm they are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the country. An evaluation of E-Verify for DHS by research company Westat found the program couldn’t confirm whether information workers were presenting was their own, and, as a result, “many unauthorized workers obtain employment by committing identity fraud that cannot be detected by E-Verify,” Westat told the department. Westat put the “inaccuracy rate for unauthorized workers” at about 54 percent.