On November 18, 2013, Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced the release of an E-Verify program enhancement designed to target identity fraud by identifying and deterring the fraudulent use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) during the employment eligibility verification process. Specifically, the new E-Verify safeguard enables USCIS to “lock” an apparently stolen, borrowed, purchased, or otherwise misused SSN and prevent further abuse of the compromised number in E-Verify records. According to the USCIS, the new locking feature, which resembles credit card companies’ practice of disabling cards that appear to be stolen, will use a series of algorithms, detection reports and analysis to identify patterns of fraudulent use and lock affected numbers in E-Verify. In announcing the release of this important enhancement, Director Mayorkas noted his agency’s commitment “to strengthening E-Verify’s ability to combat identity fraud” and described the development as “yet another significant safeguard for E-Verify users [that] could assist employees who have had their Social Security numbers stolen or compromised.”

For a complete copy of the USCIS announcement regarding the above-described E-Verify enhancement, please click here.