Comprehensive immigration reform remains one of the top hot-button political and socioeconomic issues in America today. For many, the phrase “comprehensive immigration reform” conjures up images of border fencing, government raids, employer sanctions, and new-hire screening practices.
Over the last several years, employers have witnessed significant developments in the area of employment eligibility verification of new hires. As technology advances, so does the array of tools provided to employers for verifying whether their employees are authorized to work in the United States. These tools now range from electronically completed and stored I-9 forms to electronic employment eligibility verification systems, including E-Verify and the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). In fact, federal and state laws have increasingly mandated the use of E-Verify, signaling a growing momentum toward a universal electronic employment eligibility program mandated of all employers. Recent commentary from President Obama and proposed legislation in Congress all but assure that any comprehensive immigration reform package will include such a program.