Homeland Security Expands Online Verification of Immigrants’ Status
The Department of Homeland Security has a new Internet program that allows immigrants to verify their immigration status Online before they apply for a job, and allows employers to check applicants' immigration status before hiring them.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the new E-Verify Self Check program will give people a way to check their status online, and provide documents that can resolve problems before employers conduct a similar internet check.
This service will be available immediately in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia. It will expand to Texas, California, New York and other states within 12 months.
About 250,000 employers use the E-Verify program nationally, including 14,188 employers in Texas. Last year, Texas employers made 1.2 million inquiries on prospective workers, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Republican leaders are applauding the E-Verify program expansion, but Hispanic and civil rights groups have criticized it. They say inaccuracies or typographical errors in the data base could deprive people of jobs, or result in discrimination of potential employees who look or sound foreign.