On February 7, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") published a notice announcing that it would implement on March 18, 2011, a new E-Verify feature that will allow individuals to check their own work authorization status and, if necessary, correct potential errors. As our readers know, the E-Verify program is an electronic system established by the DHS and implemented in collaboration with the USCIS and the Social Security Administration that allows registered employers to verify the employment authorization of new employees based on the information they provide in their Form I-9. Currently, E-Verify is a voluntary system, except for employers in certain states or that may have government contracts.
One of the major criticisms of E-Verify is that the database contains too many errors, resulting in employers refusing to hire individuals who are actually authorized to work. Through this new system, DHS hopes to eliminate these errors by allowing individuals to check the system and correct the errors in advance of new employment.