USCIS has released an E-Verify Quick Reference Guide For Airport Operators. Under the Federal Aviation Administration Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-190, airport operators can now apply to have direct access to use E-Verify to determine the employment authorization for individuals seeking unescorted access to an airport’s security identification display area as a component of their badging application process.

USCIS guidance around E-Verify use for airport operators is still developing. E-Verify use has historically been limited to employers confirming identity and employment authorization for new hires as part of the Form I-9 process (and, with some limited exceptions for federal contractors, current employees). Current USCIS policies and processes for E-Verify participation don’t all directly “fit” this situation.

This is an issue to watch. Time will tell if this marks the beginning of a significant expansion of E-Verify through laws permitting E-Verify use where there’s a perceived security benefit to confirming employment authorization.