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Mandatory E-Verify Central to Immigration Reform

Employer representatives have testified before a congressional panel that they support the expansion of the federal government’s E-Verify electronic employment verification system, which experts agree will be a central piece of comprehensive immigration reform.Emily Tulli, a policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, testified that lawmakers should proceed with caution on mandating an electronic verification system because of “E-Verify’s database error rates, lack of worker protections, lack of due process, insufficient privacy protections and the significant amount of employer misuse of the program.” Opponents also urged Congress to make sure that any compulsory federal E-Verify program contains a robust safe harbor for employers so that those who use the system in good faith will not be held liable by USCIS, or by the employer’s workers, for system errors. USCIS official Soraya Correa, said that USCIS continues to improve E-Verify’s accuracy by increasing the number of databases that the system checks, and expanding the use of the photographic-matching tool to include U.S. passport photos. USCIS is also working on an E-verify smartphone app, with the aim of providing an electronic and I-9 integrated version.

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