Monday, March 21, 2011
D-H-S INTRODUCES "SELF CHECK" FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS
Beginning this month, immigrant workers in Virginia and Washington DC can check their employment authorization status online through the E-Verify Self Check service.
The voluntary and free online service is an offshoot of a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA).
For now, the service is only available for residents of Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
The DHS assured the results of the Self Check query will not be shared with the individual’s current or prospective employer, will not affect his credit score, and employers are barred from making it a requirement for employment.
“Individuals can not be required to use E-Verify Self Check to prove work authorization,” the DHS announcement said, adding that individuals who feel they have been discriminated against because of Self Check should notify the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (1-800-255-7688).
The agency said Self Check could reduce the number of data mismatches employers experience when using E-Verify, which shows whether a worker is legally qualified to gain employment in the US.
More significantly, Self Check provides an opportunity to submit corrections to DHS and SSA records, especially for victims of identity theft, before applying for jobs.
The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) said they expect to have up to a million Self Check queries in the first year, and up to 8 million queries a year by the time they expand the online service to 16 states in 2012.