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Employers Flock to e-Verify

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The Homeland Security Department in the United States of America has announced that more than 52,000 employers have voluntarily adopted Citizenship and Immigration Services' e-Verify employment eligibility system.

About 1,000 new employers have joined the programme each week since last October. The online E-Verify system allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired workers. e-Verify evolved from the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Programme that started in 1997 and went online three years ago. The earlier version generated “no match” messages when a new employee's Social Security information didn't match with Social Security Administration databases. Previously flaws in the system hindered its use as a reliable indicator as to whether an individual held the appropriate visa status for employment. The refined e-Verify system has been linked to additional federal databases and increased the reliability of the information it returns to in response to queries.

While participation in the e-Verify programme is voluntary, states and local governments increasingly have adopted penalties for companies that hire illegal workers, and companies face other forms of criminal and civil liability for flouting federal employment laws.

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