REP. CALVERT TO TESTIFY AT JUDICIARY

April 8, 2009
Press Release
Tomorrow Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA) will testify at the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. Rep. Calvert will testify on his legislation, H.R. 19, which would make employment verification mandatory. He also has legislation, H.R. 5596, that would provide a ten year extension to the current voluntary program.

E-Verify is web-based, accurate and timely. Employers can sign up through the website at www.uscis.gov/everify and verify that the name matches the Social Security number given on the I-9 form entirely online.

Through E-Verify, participating employers have successfully and instantly verified employment eligibility for 93% of new hires to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) database information. Of the remaining 7% that were not verified instantly, less than 1% of those employees contested the results.

Most employees who receive a mismatch notice either choose not to contest it or indicate that they will contest that finding but then fail to follow through. In addition, the mismatch notices received by persons who are not work authorized -- currently, about 5% of all E-Verify queries – are not mismatches that we would want to eliminate. Instead, these mismatches are the result of E-Verify doing what it is intended to do: quickly verifying the status of those who are work authorized and those who are not. This process is done instantly 98% of the time, according to the latest Westat report.

There are currently over 68,000 employers representing 265,135 work sites, signed up to use E-Verify and at year to date, over 3.8 million queries were run through the program. On average, more than 1,000 new employers are joining each week.

On January 1, 2008, the State of Arizona began requiring all employers in the state to use the E-Verify program. Currently, over 20,000 employers in Arizona participate in the E-Verify program, representing more than 35,000 work sites.

In September of 2007, E-Verify's new photo screening tool became a mandatory feature for all new and existing users of the program. The photo tool is the first step in giving employers tools to help detect identity theft in the employment eligibility process.

The employers can now check the photo on their new hire's Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or Permanent Resident Card ("green card") against nearly 15 million images stored in the Department of Homeland Security immigration databases. This tool is designed to detect when a photo is superimposed on an authentic immigration identification card or when the document is counterfeit but contains valid information with a different photo. At the end of FY08, the program projects 150,000 employer participants in the E-Verify program. This would result in an estimated 5 million newly hired employees being run through the program that fiscal year.

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