Last week, another extension was needed for the E-Verify program to remain effective. The 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. The system allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. The Basic Pilot program began in November 1997 and now has been extended several times.
Following the latest extension, there is no better time to strengthen the electronic employment verification system and finally make it permanent.
Illegal immigration continues to threaten our homeland security and economic security. Since the last several sessions of Congress failed to come to a consensus and implement a comprehensive immigration plan, we should at least take advantage of incremental reforms with proven success. Such needed reforms include finally securing our nation’s borders and improving the electronic employment verification system.
In addition to making the E-VERIFY program permanent, my IMPROVES Act also makes several needed improvements to the program. Improvements like permitting the prescreening of prospective employees to let businesses confirm an individual’s work eligibility before beginning to pay or train an individual. It also allows an employer to screen current employees and provides immunity to employers who legally use the program. This will make the program more attractive by ensuring that American businesses that are using this free and voluntary program are not held liable.